Tuesday, September 12, 2006

PDs in LA

What's the day-to-day work of public defenders in a big city like? The Los Angeles Times had a five-part series ("Ground-Level Justice") by staff writer John Balzar about public defenders in Los Angeles Superior Court in Norwalk (a court that handles only felonies):

  • The System: Deals, Deadlines, Few Trials, L.A. Times, Sept. 4, 2006.
    Cisneros embodies one of the oldest tenets of American society: You can be so poor that you have no place to live, so poor that you must wear cast-off clothes and beg for food. But you cannot be so poor that you have to fend for yourself in the face of the law.
  • Defender Works for Fairness, Not Wealth, L.A. Times, Sept. 5, 2006.
    Indeed, anguish permeates every corner of this old courthouse, not just the lockup. It's as if ions in the courthouse air carry a heavy negative charge. Misery crowds onto concrete benches and spectator seats — defendants who are lucky enough to make bail, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, mothers, aunts, children, babies — so many babies. And there are the victims and the bystander witnesses with subpoenas in their pockets. They are as likely as not to be full of their own dread.
  • When the Defense Wins a Tough Case, It's Sweet, L.A. Times, Sept. 6, 2006.
  • In Court, Players Are Immersed in Issues of Right and Wrong, L.A. Times, Sept. 7, 2006.
  • Wheels Wobble But Justice Rolls On, L.A. Times, Sept. 8, 2006.
Thanks: Public Defender Stuff.

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