Judge Lynnette Kimmins
We started with 2 observers from the GV Sam’s, the new ACLU lawyer and two Dutch journalists and we ended with me.
Judge K took longer than any judge I’ve seen—2 and ½ hours.
75 people on OS list including 3 women. 27 people were only charged with 1325—illegal entry. The remaining 48 took a plea bargain to dismiss the felony—reentry—and plead guilty to the misdemeanor. The judge handled the latter group first and then the ‘petties’ (the first group charged only with illegal entry). I found the judge’s handling of the second group amazing and will address that first.
The judge called up groups of 5 with their lawyers, spoke carefully and clearly and individually questioned each defendant. Most of the 1325 group also signed a plea bargain, admitting the illegal entry and getting a time served sentence.
8 people were in the last group who did not sign the plea bargain. Judge K had Christopher Lewis—the federal lawyer—make a case for the feds. Mr. Lewis took about 5 minutes and explained the purpose of OS—to deter illegal entry into the US—and asked that this group be given 10 days each to impress upon them the severity of what they had done and convince them not to return.
The judge with the group of 8 and their lawyers before the bench asked the first lawyer Gregory Solares if he or his client had anything to say. Mr. Solares had a lot to say as did the other lawyers; Peter Matiatos, Patrick Doyle, Cheryl Blum, Daniel Anderson, Bert Vargas. For the next half hour the lawyers talked of the lack of previous records of any wrongdoing for their clients, the hardships that had pushed them to make the journey to the US, the physical and emotional trauma their clients had suffered on the journey and upon entry and family that depended on them. One man was a fisherman in a place where schools of fish had been depleted, a few had almost no education and came from remote areas, one had just turned 18 and 2 had been lost and run out of food and water on the journey. None, the lawyers said, needed 10 days in addition to the trauma suffered to drive home the point not to return.
Judge K. gave them Time Served and reminded them they had the right to appeal. WOW!
Back to the group of 48 charged with a felony and a misdemeanor. The defendants were picked up mainly near Nogales, Lukeville and Douglas with a few found near Naco and Sasabe. All together, the judge sentenced 3885 days of incarceration which at $161 cost of incarceration per day is $625,485. One day out of 5 in Tucson Federal Court, in one border sector out of 9. Can you imagine what real solutions creative, caring people could implement with all that gold!
There were several requests for incarceration in a particular place—mostly Arizona and the judge granted them all though this is not binding to the Department of Prisons.
Rodolfo Lucero Marquez—23470—appeared not to understand and the judge had him wait until the very end and went over the entire set of explanations and questions with him alone.
Martin Leon Zamora—23478—is an older man who said he entered the US 8-15-2013 and was apprehended by ICE in Tucson (?) on June 3rd. He was given 60 days which might mean he was stopped for a broken tail light or ICE went after him after he came to their attention.
Eudalia Domingo Lucas—23483—and Abraham Batres Avila—23492—a married couple, asked to have a few minutes after the hearing to decide how to meet if they were not deported together. Both were picked up near Douglas and given 75 days.
Arturo Luna Suaste—23550—asked for a reduced sentence as his family has no money and needs his wages. Judge K explained that she can’t modify the sentences. 75 days.