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Archive March 2019

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A Vision for SVP Defenders

My life as a SVP attorney began 10 years ago in Missouri with only 4 people in my office to talk to.  Early on I found out that being a SVP/SDP attorney is an incredibly isolating journey.  We work long hours with esoteric psychological research, for the most vulnerable, confused and rightfully angry clients.

Yolo County Hosts First Annual Holistic Defense Fundraiser

The fundraiser drew hundreds of people who drank beer and bid on more than 70 silent auction items. The event drew county attorneys, Yolo County supervisors, City Council members from cities within the county, as well as others in law enforcement and social justice advocates.

The Legal Aid Society Celebrates Public Defender Day with Call for Parity

The Legal Aid Society is launching a campaign on Monday, the anniversary of Gideon v Wainwright and Public Defender Day, to raise awareness of the huge disparity in salaries for public defenders and to bring them in line with those of attorneys paid to represent government.

Washington Governor Proclaims Public Defense Week

Attached is the proclamation from the governor declaring this Public Defense Week.  It recognizes the Gideon decision which celebrates its 56th Anniversary today and the work being done by public defenders across Washington. 

Office of the Ohio Public Defender Celebrates Public Defense Week 2019!

The Office of the Ohio Public Defender will be celebrating National Public Defense Week throughout the work week of March 18-22. State employees and the public are invited to follow our celebrations on Facebook@OhioPublicDefender or Twitter @OH_PubDefend, and join our office in thanking public defense professionals throughout Ohio for their dedication and commitment to public service.

Non-Serviam

But it’s not French that comes to me about this interaction, at least not proper French. It’s latin: NON SERVIAM. That’s what I should have said. I will not serve. I will not serve this system that is incredibly broken. I am not here to be a smooth conduit between the police and prison. NON SERVIAM! I will not serve! I will not serve! I scream it in my head.

Montgomery County (PA) Preps for Public Defense Week

Next week is National Pubic Defense Week, highlighting the importance of legal representation for all and recognizing the 56th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright (Decided March 18, 1963)… which held that the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of counsel is a fundamental right essential to a fair trial and, as such, applies to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

National Public Defender Week

It’s almost National Public Defender Day/Week! On Monday, March 18th, we will acknowledge the 56th anniversary of the landmark decision Gideon v. Wainwright and, as usual, we expect that this will be a mix of celebrating some wins (like dedicated staff, rockstar clients, trial victories, community building, systemic change, etc.) and lamenting what’s still left to fix (excessive workloads, institutional racism, crushing fines and fees, ridiculous lack of parity, etc.). 

A Eulogy for Jeff Adachi

Yesterday was the public memorial at City Hall for Public Defender Jeff Adachi. Chief Attorney Matt Gonzalez was just one of many people to deliver a eulogy, but his words spoke not only to Jeff’s life, but the meaning of being a public defender.

Muslim Inmate's Execution Is Blocked Over Denial of Request for Imam

Finally mustered the mental energy to share my thoughts about the execution of Domineque Hakim Marcelle Ray, a Muslim man denied by the State of Alabama and the United States Supreme court of direct access to his Imam for his last breaths: 
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NAPD News

December 15, 2018: Registration is now open for NAPD's Spring Events:
  • Executive Leadership Insitute (Frankfort, KY)
  • Train the Trainer (Frankfort, KY)
  • "We the Defenders" Investigators Conference (Biloxi, MS)
  • "We the Defenders" Social Workers/Sentencing AdvocatesConference (Biloxi, MS)
  • Team Mitigation Institute (Atlanta, GA)
Click on Events Tab for more info and to register.
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October 30, 2018: NAPD releases a video about its achievements over the 5 years since forming in November in 2013. This films was coordinated by NAPD Steering Committee Member and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and debuted at the Racial Justice Training and 5 Year Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland. You can watch the video HERE

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July 1, 2018: General Registration opens for the “WE THE DEFENDERS” TRAINING CONFERENCE,  November 26-29, 2018, Indianapolis, IN

You can watch a video about the event HERE 

Due to overwhelming demand, NAPD will again offer this comprehensive Investigator and Social Worker/Sentencing Advocate training experience! The program will include one track for Investigators and a separate track for Social Worker/Sentencing Advocates.  Hear from nationally recognized experts who will share their knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the work you do each and every day.  Network with other criminal defense practitioners from around the country and find your tribe. 
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January 23, 2018: In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session's reversal of prior policy on the imposition of fines and fees for criminal defendants, NAPD submitted the following letter on behalf of the public defender community. You can read the letter HERE
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