A Word or Several About Due Process
Bay State DAs Whine "Unfair"!
So, according to the October 14th Boston Globe article
some DAs are trying to say that public defenders get an unfair economic advantage when it comes to access to the public (taxpayer-funded) till.
Really? So, having the full resources of the courts, the police, and probation and other criminal justice departments at their ready is not enough of a stacked deck for those who want to put away the bad guys and throw away the key, huh - damned that silly nuisance of having to actually answer to the mandate (if not society and democracy, then SURELY at least MORALITY and simple decency!) that is supposed to protect the innocent.
Two words: due process. The argument about money and lawyers is, in my opinion, a red herring in a democracy whose Constitution makes the crocodile promises the system absolutely DOES NOT heed.
It shouldn't cost a damned DIME to defend one's self against a criminal charge, but because of the lovely "ignorantia juris non excusat", even the layman bears the burden that has been laughably untenable and unbearable almost since our union's founding.
NO WAY can we be expected to know the law well enough to stay out of all trouble, and what's more, to then competently navigate this corrupt demonstration of the prioritization of expediency over justice, of process over truth!
That's why we have public defenders. And I've got news. Even as recently as Miranda v. Arizona (1966), it was asserted that competent counsel is the *right* of all accused.
Pity that that is the emptiest promise in all of American jurisprudence. It's a $35k a year clerk who crunches the numbers and says yay or nay to your right to state-funded representation. It's way flawed. I make $26k a year working in special education, and yet I have had the unfortunate experience of having to negotiate the risk of representing myself to answer for a charge of breaking a law (order) that doesn't exist, versus taking the poisoned apple offered by the (ADA?) to meet certain conditions pertaining to the alleged violation of an ex post facto no trespass order (that's right - the order to stay off certain *public* property - for SLEEPING IN MY CAR!) was written AFTER my arrest for violating that order. Yeah - my head spins every time, too.
The deck is STACKED to the sky in FAVOR of "authority" - and there are absolutely NOT sufficient checks and balances to make sure that power obeys its own rules.
I and you and all of us have the RIGHT to liberty - and the presumption of innocence. But that is made a bold-faced lie when this *right* costs you some $400/hr to exercise.
Sorry, Charlie - I ain't gahts that kinda dough.
But, as it is better to let 10 guilty (men) go free than to punish one innocent (man), our collective will (and our history) supposedly values liberty and truth and justice.
Until the system puts *ITS* money where its mouth is, these ideals are empty promises, and stinking, lying piles of bologna the likes of which are worse than the most depraved examples of criminality in all of human history.