Man has spent 14 years in jail for contempt without being charged for a crime

Wall Street Journal reports on a fellow in the United States who has spent 14 years behind bars without being charged for anything.

Consider Mr. Chadwick's case. In 1994, during divorce proceedings, a Delaware County judge held Mr. Chadwick in civil contempt for failing to put $2.5 million in a court-controlled account. He says he lost the money in bad investments; his wife's attorney claimed he had hidden it offshore. In April 1995, Mr. Chadwick was arrested and detained. Nearly 14 years later, Mr. Chadwick, who suffers from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, is still in jail -- even after a retired judge was hired to help locate the money, and failed.

"The money is gone," says Mr. Chadwick's lawyer, Michael Malloy. "The coercive effect of this order is gone; it has turned into a life sentence."

The judge who held Mr. Chadwick in contempt in 1994 couldn't be reached for comment, but he has said publicly that he doesn't believe Mr. Chadwick lacks the funds.

No Charge: In Civil-Contempt Cases, Jail Time Can Stretch On for Years (Via The Agitator)