Defendants found guilty in criminal cases in Clark County, Washington are paying far more for their court fees than their peers around the state, an American Civil Liberties report finds. A defendant in Clark County will pay around $2,000 in fees and fines for a single case in Clark County — nearly twice the norm in other counties. The costs are accrued for things like using a public defender, having a jury trial, and issuing warrants.
The report has been questioned by some in Washington’s justice system, but the issue is being taken seriously by lawmakers. A bill was introduced this legislative session, and though it has stalled, it is expected to come back in next year’s session.
- Paris Achen: Courts reporter for The Columbian