CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Some of Charlotte’s grieving mothers are taking a stand, demanding change in the criminal justice system. Their mission? They want to eliminate bond offers in the court system for suspects accused and charged with murder.
What You Need To Know
- Moms say the bond system makes parents victims a second time
- The group is urging court officers and elected officials to make major changes
- If bond can't be banned, one mom says make the bond so expensive suspects can't pay it
"We want to be able to go into court after these murderers have taken our loved ones, our children, and we want to not have to worry about them being released,” says Sevhn Doggette, the leader of this particular fight.
Doggette, who lost her 25-year-old son in 2017, says she’s tired of seeing heart-broken moms and dads victimized a second time in courtrooms.
Mothers, like Jamineka Davis. "My son was shot 7 times in broad daylight, brutally murdered, 7 times! There is no way they should be out! They should not be home by Christmas. They were at home on Christmas and New Year’s, this just happened July 2020,” Davis says fighting back tears.
22-year-old Andre Boyd, Davis’ son, died last year.
Davis says one of the suspects in her son’s death was released on $50,000 bond. The other, released on a $175,000 bond.
Doggette, who’s organization helps parents struggling with loss from a violent crime, says seeing bond get offered to the 22-year-old's alleged killers was a slap in the face.
"To me, that told that lady that her son was worth $5,000, cause it’s only 10% for the bond,” Doggette says.
So, the women are putting their grief into action. Davis, Doggette, and others are pleading to stop offering bond on murder cases.
"It’s going to take the higher officials, it’s going to take judges, it’s going to take district attorneys, and we have to hold them accountable!” Doggette says with emotion.
The group has already spoken with at least one Mecklenburg County commissioner and Sheriff Gary McFadden.
"I understand their fight, I understand the pain they go through. But I tell them, I always support them and their efforts. But then when it comes to the bonds and all of that, that is the decision that a judge has to make. So, I can’t say they should or they shouldn’t, because they are innocent till proven guilty. So, we have to understand that,” McFadden says.
The Sheriff added that his deputies are doing their job to bring in suspects and hand them over to the court system, but stopped short of calling for reform to the bond system.
McFadden says balancing the right of innocent till proven guilty in the American court system is difficult when dealing with the emotion and broken hearts of parents across the county and state.
So, in the meantime, Doggette and Davis say they’ll keep pushing for the reform, in hopes their stories of loss prompt real change.
Doggette says if bonds on murder cases cannot be banned, judges should set bonds at extremely high amounts to prevent suspects from making payments.