Marcus Hubbard of Salem, New Jersey, can’t use his arms, but that hasn’t stopped New Jersey authorities from jailing him since August and pursuing gun possession charges against him.
Hubbard lost the use of his arms due to spinal injuries resulting from a car accident, and he may also have ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), according to the Minnesota Star Tribune. Nevertheless, New Jersey authorities are seeking gun possession charges against him.
Hubbard’s troubles began in August, when he was a passenger in a car, along with the driver and two other passengers, that ran a red light in Trenton. A search of the car turned up a prescription bottle of Codeine, as well as a gun that had been reported stolen from Anchorage, Alaska.
When none of the men in the car owned up to possessing the gun, all four were charged and jailed.
Mr. Hubbard’s lawyer, Caroline Turner, is appalled at the way the State has treated her client, according to the Newark Star-Herald.
“It shocks the conscience. How could he be held for four months on a gun charge? He cannot move his arms.”
Because of his medical conditions, Mr. Hubbard is considered “incapacitated” and “unfit for placement” among the regular prisoners at the Mercer County Jail. Instead, he’d been held, under guard, at a nearby medical center because the jail lacks an infirmary.
County spokesperson Julie Willmot explains, “If directed by the court, the county is obligated to house a prisoner until that prisoner’s case is satisfied.”
That means Mr. Hubbard has been held at a medical clinic at a cost of $450 per day just for the room, to say nothing of his medical expenses or the cost of having an armed guard at his door 24 hours per day. The cost to Mercer County has come to about $60,000.
Marcus Hubbard is hardly the first person to be jailed for a ridiculous reason. Just last week, a Georgia woman named Amy Barnes was jailed — at one point in solitary confinement — for saying “f**k the police” within earshot of a police officer. She was ultimately released without charges and awarded a $100,000 settlement, according to this Inquisitr report.
Fortunately, on Friday a judge agreed with Ms. Turner’s pleas for compassion and released Mr. Hubbard without bail. Unfortunately, despite not being able to use his arms, his gun possession charges are still pending, as of this post.