He says Southampton justice system is backwards

Published 8:52 am Wednesday, June 20, 2012

To the Editor:

I have been taught all my life that in America you are innocent until proven guilty.

Now it seems as if Southampton County does not go by this.

Recently, a family member received a speeding ticket on Route 58. According to the officer, they were going 73 mph in a 60-mph area. They had their cruise control set on 58 mph as they do every day, twice a day, five days a week on this same road.

They pass an officer almost daily and have no problem until the other morning when the officer had another vehicle pulled over and then proceeded to pull out and ticket my family member. I can say with absolute certainty that this person was not speeding even though I was not present.

There is no problem with the vehicle, but he said radar had them at 73 mph. I was told by another officer that getting a professional calibration would do no good, so I checked their speed with my own vehicle, and they both were the same, 60 mph and 60 mph on both cruise controls. Also, I was told that the officer would have the driving record of this person.

Now comes the real problem. I attended court with this person. The judge swore both of them in and asked what happened. The officer stated that they were speeding, and the person said that they were not.

The officer showed no proof of any kind, nor did he have their driving record. The judge found this person guilty and didn’t even attempt to reduce or suspend the ticket.

This person with a perfect driving record wasn’t proven guilty by the court, but they were guilty because they could not prove they were innocent. This is now the opposite of what the justice system states.

Now this person is called a liar — because of being sworn in — and he no longer has a perfect driving record and is $139 poorer.

After watching this courtroom fiasco, I felt I had to let others know that in this county you are always guilty unless you prove your innocence. The only good thing that may come of this is the county can use this money to train their officers on how to read numbers or to stop running 75 mph on Shady Brook Trail in a residential area, or maybe the best thing, buy a lock to the back door of the jail.

Tommy Kee