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WOW! Hard to Believe You Can Spend So Much Time Behind Bars Without Being Criminally Charged

It’s hard to believe you can spend such long stretches behind bars without ever being charged with a crime. But here’s some tales.

By ASHBY JONES
The Wall Street Journal

One can spend a long time in jail in the U.S. without ever being charged with a crime.
It happened to H. Beatty Chadwick, a former Philadelphia-area lawyer, who has been behind bars for nearly 14 years without being charged.
Businessman Manuel Osete spent nearly three years in an Arizona jail without ever receiving a criminal charge. And investment manager Martin Armstrong faced a similar situation when he was held for more than six years in a Manhattan jail.
All three men were jailed for civil contempt, a murky legal concept. Some scholars say it is too often abused by judges, to the detriment of those charged and their due-process rights. “These results of too many civil-contempt confinements are flatly outrageous and often unconstitutional,” says Jayne Ressler, a professor at Brooklyn Law School.

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