HEPPNER – The Sixth Circuit Court is now offering text reminders about court dates. Morrow County District Attorney Justin Nelson can understand why such reminders would be needed in civil cases, but he thinks in criminal cases it’s too much mollycoddling.
“These are adults,” he said. “This is not like your doctor appointment or your dental appointment. You’ve been charged with a criminal offense that has the absolute potential to throw you in jail or prison.”
Nelson said that when people charged with crimes are released pending trial they are told to keep in touch with their attorneys on a weekly basis for case and court appearance updates and changes.
The district attorney said he hopes that the court was simply putting this system in place for civil cases and realized they could extend the offer to criminal cases easily.
“Hopefully, it will help crack down and lower our failures to appear, fingers crossed, making it a little more efficient,” he said. “But I don’t think I should have to hold people’s hands.”
The Sixth Circuit Court covers Umatilla and Morrow counties.