Former Judge Sentences Himself to Jail in Bland Case

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Hempstead - After seven months, Sandra Bland's death is still haunting Waller County. On Wednesday, the controversy took a new turn when a former judge there decided to "sentence himself" to jail.

"I'm here because I ought to be here. I deserve to be here. I broke the law," he said.

Apparently, former Judge Dewayne Charleston broke the law by trespassing last year at a protest for the Bland case.

Last July, Charleston made it clear who he blamed for Bland's death in the Waller County Jail:  "Whatever happened in that jail, they are responsible. She was in their care, custody and control."

Charleston believes that local racism was the real culprit.  He said, "From the cradle to the grave, racism has existed here for the last 40 or 50 years of my life- and probably well beyond that."

So, to further his point, the former judge is taking his protest behind bars to the same jail where Bland was found hanging in her cell last July.

Rather than pay a fine, the judge wants to serve time.

News Fix exclusively spoke to Charleston right before he turned himself in.

"What is in your life that you would go to jail for?" he pondered. "This is a small thing as far as the world goes, but it's what I would go to jail for."

So how does a former judge prepare to go to jail?

He took to Facebook to share his emotions. "This is me," he told us. "This is what enraged me, and this is what I'm dealing with now."

And what the judge is dealing with, is coming to terms with Bland's fate.

"She should be alive," Charleston insisted. "Sandra Bland merely failed to show a signal lane change. She should not have been here."

Now, as part of his protest, Charleston created a special Twitter hashtag:  #IfIdieinpolicecustodyIdidnotkillmyself.

Just before he turned himself in, the judge made one final discovery. "It costs $14-a-minute for an inmate to communicate with the outside world!" the Judge exclaimed.  "We talk about why Sandra Bland was not able to get in contact with someone to come and bail her out. Fourteen dollars-a-minute! Who's making $14-a-minute off of inmates?!"

Hopefully, the former Justice of the Peace will have a peaceful stay while in the custody of the Waller County Jail.


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