In this county, the criminal court system functions like an old bicycle: It works -- just much too slowly.
This week, New Times will feature a story about the inmates who have stayed longest in Miami-Dade county jail, a place that's supposed to be temporary.
What we found: Eight men have spent more than ten years behind bars waiting for a verdict. One of them has been there 12 years with an open case. And it has cost the county over $4 million.
Take Chazre Davis, inmate number 000000236, for example. The husky 41-year-has a Mohawk that sprouts from his skull like a potted shrub. He sleeps next to a stainless-steel sink inside private cell number 503 at the Miami-Dade County Pre-Trial Detention Center. On Saturdays, he munches Salisbury steak for dinner, lifts weights, and is allowed to rendezvous with visitors.
Davis is accused of suffocating his girlfriend to death with a pillow. Problem is, he's been locked up for more than a decade with no trial.
Our man in the red jumpsuit is not alone. In fact, more than 60 inmates -- ranging from alleged burglars to coke dealers -- have stayed at least five years. (Only three inmates in Broward County have stayed that long.) And most national felony cases take less than a year to adjudicate, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Check out the full story online this evening.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.