By Joseph A. Thomas
Gideon V. Wainwright, the 1963 U.S Supreme Court decision guaranteed Defendants representation by an Attorney if they could not afford one.
It certainly did not guarantee an “Open checkbook” that compares to Law Enforcement and Prosecutors budgets for experts and funds to pay for the hours and hours needed to properly Investigate, Research and defend their clients.
The majority of Public Defenders are overwhelmed by the number of cases they are appointed. Overworked by the number, not the individual cases. Some only spending minutes with defendants, then advising on decisions that will impact their lives forever.
Defendants sit in jail waiting for information, waiting for magic words that will get them back to their families. Words that will correct all the misstatements, false accusations and rumors. Words that will redeem them.
Waiting for a phone call, a letter or an Attorney visit, a visit that will give them hope. Their children unaware of the destruction, the hate, the lies and corruption that keeps them from seeing, hugging and loving their fathers or mother. Or keeping mothers and fathers from their children. Helpless as they watch their child carted away in shackles.
Sitting in a cell with no windows, with nothing but their thoughts, always thinking the worst. A vision of loved ones they may never see again. Having little if any hope. Pain from anxiety, pain from the tough of no tomorrow. Pain from the hopeless and helpless feeling associated with the loss of loved ones.
– “An Emotional Roller Coaster” –
The United States Constitution, your States Constitution, the Bail Reform Act and other symbolic pieces of paper mean very little !
Hundreds of years, Legal and Physical battles and thousands of hours of legal arguments come down to one word: ” Discretion” – Better yet ” Judges Discretion” – Their family, dependents, career, business, livelihood and past ” Do not matter.” Only instantiated accusations and lies matter now.
Hours turn into days, days into years, years into a lifetime. Furthering the punishment of the less fortunate, less educated, and those wronged by the very system created to be ” Equal to All”. A system that has sanctioned the Victimization of those caught in a truly unjust system.
Motions, arguments, laws, codes and statues come down to “Interpolation”, far from the actual meaning when they were created. Term like ” Harmless error” and ” Good Faith-Exception” Validate mistakes or Corruption by Prosecutors, Law Enforcement, even Judges at times. The very people who have ” Solely Sworn” to uphold ” OUR” Constitution.
Intimidation, ” Off the record deals” and pleas negotiated by wolves and wolves in ” Shepherds” clothing. Negotiating ” Deals” as if Defendants were cattle not Americans protected by a Constitution.
The U.S. Criminal Justice System has not ” Evolved”, in fact the opposite, it has recessed and imploded.
Each Defendant should have access to a Legal Advocate and Law Library. They would be far better served then being represented by an Attorney who has had little to me no time to “Represent” their ” Client”.
An Advocate who truly believes and cares about citizens rights, an advocate who thinks of the Defendants as a ” Human Being”, not just a number. An advocate who has compassion, an advocate who knows, ” What Affects One, Can affect All” !
Giving this access, coupled with Qualified counsel would not only benefit the Defendant, but “Our system as a whole.”
Unfortunately, Defendants after Defendants get worn down to a level that they feel they must ” Take a Deal”, give up and become only a faint memory to their families and other loved ones.
Appeasing societies need for vengeance. A system that ” Warehouses” the condemned and measures debt to society by ” Calendar year Justice”.
We have to give the tools needed for the representation afforded to each and every American by our Constitutions. We have to embrace and make funds available for the unselfish and dedicated, for those that give us faith and hope !
– ADVOCATES –