|Miami Herald, page 1A, Jan. 24, 2014.|
As everyone in South Florida probably knows by now, teen heart-throb, and Miley Cyrus look-alike, Justin Bieber, was arrested early Thursday morning by Miami Beach police and charged with driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, and resisting arrest.
I watched most of the made-for-local-TV-news drama in real time - for professional reasons, of course.
But, quite frankly, I thought the amount of coverage afforded this snotty brat was way over the top. But I couldn't stop watching.
Shortly after 11 a.m. - about 7 hours after Bieber's arrest - I put up a post.
In it, I mentioned the speed at which Bieber appeared to sail through the jail booking process.
Bieber arrived at the jail at about 10:19 a.m., and jail officials set a new world's record, booking him within 17 minutes of his arrival, at 10:36 a.m.
I'm sure many in South Florida's legal community also noticed that the chronically dysfunctional Miami-Dade Corrections Department seemed to bend over backwards to accommodate the Beebs.
But, so far, only one attorney has spoken out publicly.
In a post on his blog, Miami criminal defense attorney Mark Eiglarsh writes that Bieber "definitely received favorable treatment."
Let's start with when the bond hearing took place. The strict jail rule followed daily is that all Miami inmates booked into the jail before 9 a.m. will appear before the judge on the afternoon bond calendar that same day. If, however, an inmate is booked after 9 a.m., he/she misses the cutoff and has to appear for bond hearing the following day. Bieber was booked into the jail at 10:30 a.m., well after the 9 a.m. cut off. That means he, like every other non-celebrity inmate should have been held at the jail for an additional day before appearing before the judge. That's huge! I've never seen that accommodation made for anyone in my two decades in the criminal justice arena.
The most significant difference between how Bieber was treated vs. the average inmate was in the amount of time it took from his bond hearing to when he was released. I watched in utter shock and amazement when Bieber exited the jail. I could not believe how little time elapsed from the time the judge set the bond to the time he regained his liberty and was posing for the huge crowd outside the jail. Stunned! This wasn't just fast, this was Usain Bolt, cheetah, lightning, Michael Phelps fast.
I've never seen or heard of any other inmate leaving jail so quickly after their bond was announced. It typically takes a number of hours after bond hearing until an inmate can be processed and released. I'm still in disbelief.