Archive September 2019

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The More Loving One

I’m sitting in a jail cell and it’s freezing. I’ve been in here for almost a half hour by the time the guard brings my client into the other side for me to talk to. Dressed in his oranges, a color that suits no one, he looks older than I remembered, his cheeks slack, his skin dry.

New ANG Episode: The High Cost of Eating Meat

In this episode police misconduct lawyer Greg Peacock discusses a civil rights lawsuit for false arrest and police brutality that he went to trial on and discovery of a rogue police department out in the desert that acted like a criminal street gang and terrorized its' community.

We Can't Look Away

It will be criminal defense attorneys - particularly public defenders - who are tasked with this educational lift on the issues of reproductive rights, health, and justice, particularly when those rights are endangered by prosecutors who seek to criminalize pregnant people for exercising reproductive autonomy.

City of Escondido v. Emmons: Right to be free from excessive force too general to deny qualified immunity

Police responded to a possible domestic violence incident at an apartment.  They knocked on the door but no one answered.  They spoke to a woman in the apartment through a window and tried to get her to open the door so they could conduct a welfare check.  A man told her not to open the door.

Mitchell v. Wisconsin: Blood draw of unconscious driver suspected of drunk driving does not generally require warrant

Police do not generally need a warrant to draw the blood of an unconscious driver suspected of drunk driving, the Supreme Court ruled June 27 in Mitchell v. Wisconsin.

Walking With The "Wretched"

It’s one thing to stand with and work to exonerate the innocent. Surely, that’s a special privilege. But it’s another, deeper, unique gift to stand aside and hold the hands of the guilty. So the tears sprouted from deep gratefulness to work as a public defender representing the indigent in our communities, to meet and connect with these clients like Mr. M and Mr. S, to sit in intimate spaces of jail interview rooms, holding cells and courtrooms with and by them, to be in their company and to often be the only person willing to do so.

Another Not Guilty!

This episode is particularly amazing and entertaining.  Take a listen to fellow public defender Peter recount his DUI jury trial with crazy traffic accidents, officers performing and “failing” field sobriety tests, and the late discovery of exculpatory evidence in the middle of trial which led to the entire case being dismissed.

United States v. Haymond: Federal statute imposing mandatory minimum sentence for violating supervised release violates Fifth and Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial

The federal statute that requires a judge to impose a mandatory minimum five-year term and up to life in prison for certain violations of supervised release, such as possession of child pornography, violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial, the Supreme Court ruled June 26 in United States v. Haymond.

Some Questions We Must Ask Before Caging Our Fellow Human Beings

Thinking about our collective addiction to incarceration, particularly of black and brown people, and our continued use of it as a primary and often times only means of accountability for criminal behavior.   We collectively should see the caging of other humans as an extreme, unusual and extraordinary measure, an exception rather than the norm.   

Somewhere in America

Somewhere in America a young person has just accepted an offer to work for a public defender office.  She’s wondering whether she can handle the caseload that she has heard so much about. Somewhere in America a more experienced public defender has just accepted a position as the Chief Defender in an office where workloads are too high.  She wonders to herself whether there’s anyone who can help her.