Ferguson’s new municipal judge ordered massive changes Monday in the city’s much-criticized municipal court, a move he said is aimed at restoring confidence in the system and easing the burden on needy defendants.
Changes announced by Judge Donald McCullin include withdrawing ‘close to 10,000’ old arrest warrants and giving defendants new court dates and payment options.
The new plan allows for community service or fines to be commuted for the indigent. McCullin will also reinstate driver’s license for all defendants who lost their license for failing to appear in court or failing to pay a fine, pending final disposition of the case.
The changes come after a critical U.S. Department of Justice report cited racial profiling among Ferguson police and a municipal court system that often targeted blacks, who make up about two-thirds of Ferguson’s 21,000 residents.