Memphis Flyer 12/09/2021

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MEMernet Memphis on the internet. B E H I N D TH E C U RTAI N Here’s how it works: Memphis Zoo researchers issue a paper in the journal Conservation Science and Practice titled, “Post-release comparisons of amphibian growth reveal challenges with sperm cryopreservation as a conservation tool.” The zoo issues a press release headlined, “Memphis Zoo Research Team Finds Out How to Build a New Wild Population.” We present it here like, “Heh. Look. Frogs doin’ it.” CREDIT: MEMPHIS ZOO


December 9-15, 2021



Martin Rosenblum caught this display of mandarin oranges at the Sanderlin Kroger last week. WE LL, AR E YO U? “Hi,” Diane Martin said on Nextdoor. “Are you missing this duck?” POSTED TO NEXTDOOR BY DIANE MARTIN

TWE ET O F TH E WE E K “If you think 3 floors of a swinger’s convention at the Little Rock La Quinta is a sight to behold, you, dear sir or madam, have not seen the side show of wonder and grotesquerie that is checkout time at aforementioned La Quinta,” tweeted Cory Branan.


Questions, Answers + Attitude Edited by Toby Sells

C ITY R E POTE R B y To b y S e l l s

Money Bail Groups threaten lawsuit to push bail reform. Several groups called Shelby County’s money bail system unconstitutional in a letter issued last week and urged leaders to meet with them about the practice or face a lawsuit by year’s end. The letter is from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLUTN), Just City, and The Wharton Law Firm. It paints a picture of a broken system that favors those with money to get out of jail and disproportionately affects poor, Black, and disabled detainees. “Jailing people simply due to their inability to afford a sum of money is an unconstitutional and harmful public policy,” said Andrea Woods, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project. “Shelby County officials should embrace this PHOTO: DAN BANNISTER | DREAMSTIME.COM opportunity to remedy the Groups argue that Shelby County’s money bail system is unconstitutional. county’s discriminatory, wealthbased detention practices. We would rather see smart systems fixes now than be forced to worked in other cities just like Memphis to reduce crime, save bring these issues to court.” money, and help people. These methods work, but they require The letter says pre-trial release is a fundamental right under leadership.” the state and federal constitutions. Tennessee law requires The letter threatens litigation and demands reform for the judges to treat money bail as a “last resort,” it says. Except for county’s bail system. It says the groups “prefer to work with “extreme circumstances,” all criminal suspects have the right to you to resolve our concerns but stand ready to explore other some sort of conditional release from jail before their trials. options” if the county does take action. That action — an Shelby County’s system, however, keeps “hundreds of answer to a meeting request from the groups — needs to take people” detained because they cannot afford bail. “This can place before December 31st. If not, “we have no choice” but to lead to loss of employment, housing, education, [and more],” file a lawsuit. the groups said. “We cannot and will not sit idly by and let this easily The county’s current pre-trial system can hold a person corrected problem persist,” reads the letter. for “weeks or longer” without a bail hearing with counsel, Instead of the current system, which the letter says “does according to the groups. Ability to pay is not considered when not promote court appearance,” the groups want (among other bail is set, “leaving those who cannot afford to pay detained things): indefinitely, even if they are not a flight or safety risk, while • bail hearings no later than 24 hours after a person’s arrest those who face the same charges but can afford to pay money • no money bail set unless proof exists that the person will bail are freed until trial.” not return for trial without it “Because of this community’s dependence on money • a consideration of ability to pay for bail before it is set bail, the Shelby County Jail is full of people who cannot pay • affordability for bail, meaning the person can pay the bail for their freedom,” Josh Spickler, executive director of Just amount within 24 hours without borrowing money City, said in a statement. “There are proven alternatives to Visit the News Blog at for more local news. this counterproductive system, tools and policies that have