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Public Defenders

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tivodan1116

I have been wondering where everyone on this site stands on the concept of a Public Defender. This is a person who is using tax dollars to give free representation to criminal defendants who are unable to pay for representation themselves. But are they Constitutional? A good idea? Beneficial? Harmful? Unethical? How do you feel about your tax dollars being used to defend people in this way?

Personally, I am glad that public defenders exist because they ensure that everyone gets a fair trial, including those who are poor. I support my tax dollars being used for such a purpose, and I think it is one of the few legitimate uses of my money.

A note: I have interned at a Public Defender's office for school.
 

cnredd

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tivodan1116 said:
I have been wondering where everyone on this site stands on the concept of a Public Defender. This is a person who is using tax dollars to give free representation to criminal defendants who are unable to pay for representation themselves. But are they Constitutional? A good idea? Beneficial? Harmful? Unethical? How do you feel about your tax dollars being used to defend people in this way?

Personally, I am glad that public defenders exist because they ensure that everyone gets a fair trial, including those who are poor. I support my tax dollars being used for such a purpose, and I think it is one of the few legitimate uses of my money.

A note: I have interned at a Public Defender's office for school.
On paper, you are correct...It's when the trial turns into a game of "who will win the smaller arguments" and takes away from the larger question("Is the defendant guilty?") that convolutes justice. Look at the Michael Jackson trial...After the trial most of the jury AGREED with the prosecution that good 'ol "14 noses" was a child molester...But they didn't convict...why?...Because the defense DIDN'T defend Jackson...they PROSECUTED the prosecutor's witnesses.

Attacking someone's credibility is NOT seeking truth...It's making the truth irrelevant.

OJ...Was he freed because he was is innocent?...Nope...He was freed because Mark Fuhrman was a racist, the cops mishandled blood samples, and a glove didn't fit. The defense focused on those aspects, which gave the jury enough doubt to find him "not guilty".

Now that's people who are getting paid top dollar to get their client off...that's bad enough...when a public defender, who is a civil servant, tries to make a name for themselves by clouding the issue of guilt, that's downright despicable.

So the IDEA of Public Defender, just like the whole Judicial System itself, is very beneficial...The only problem is that the position is held by humans, who can be assholes.
 
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tivodan1116

Attacking someone's credibility is NOT seeking truth...It's making the truth irrelevant.
But the job of the defense attorney is not to seek truth. The job of the defense attorney and specifically a public defender is oftentimes to prevent the truth from ever coming out by any legal and ethical courtroom means available. Therein lies the rub with many people. While the prosecutor's job is indeed to seek truth and justice, the defense attorney's job has nothing to do with seeking truth and is all about zealously defending clients.

Because the defense DIDN'T defend Jackson...they PROSECUTED the prosecutor's witnesses.
Again, their job is to do whatever they can to get their client acquitted. Unlike the prosecution, they don't have to prove anything, let alone defend a client. They only seek to do whatever will get their client off. Sometimes that means doing nothing and letting the prosecution's case fall flat on its own.
 

cnredd

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tivodan1116 said:
But the job of the defense attorney is not to seek truth. The job of the defense attorney and specifically a public defender is oftentimes to prevent the truth from ever coming out by any legal and ethical courtroom means available. Therein lies the rub with many people. While the prosecutor's job is indeed to seek truth and justice, the defense attorney's job has nothing to do with seeking truth and is all about zealously defending clients.



Again, their job is to do whatever they can to get their client acquitted. Unlike the prosecution, they don't have to prove anything, let alone defend a client. They only seek to do whatever will get their client off. Sometimes that means doing nothing and letting the prosecution's case fall flat on its own.
Well, then why call them "Public Defenders"? Shouldn't they have a name more closely resembling there occupation?...Like "Society Harmers"?
 

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galenrox said:
I guess that you could say that, but it is neccisary to keep the prosecution on its toes and in check. Although it's true they don't have to prove anything, they do have to disprove what the prosecution says to the point of reasonable doubt.
You see, neither side really gives a **** whether or not the person did it. It's the prosecution's job to prove the guy's guilty, by any legal (and as certain cases have recently shown illegal) means neccisary, and it's the defenses job to at the very least create reasonable doubt.
So if the prosecution was only working based on the idea that they should only prosecute those that s/he honestly believes to be guilty, or argue both sides of a case, then yes, public defenders wouldn't be neccisary, but that's not how the prosecution works.
I forget the name of the actual case that said that everyone has the right to an attorney, but it was Gideon v. someone. Up until this trial the only circumstance where a public defender was provided was in capital cases. This dude Gideon was a poor guy who worked in a pool hall. One night the pool hall was broken into, and some dude told the cops that he saw Gideon leaving, and when Gideon went to trial, he lost miserably since he didn't know what questions to ask, other than "Why are you lying?" and he went to jail. So he started studying law, and he made an appeal to a bunch of courts, eventually making it to the Supreme court, where he was defended by a well experienced lawyer, and they won, so Gideon stood trial again and it was proven very easily that he didn't do it, and that the guy who did was the dude who said it was Gideon.
That's why we have public defenders.
The other very important job that public defenders provide is to make sure our rights are upheld. The public might not like it when a criminal gets off because the police didn't have a search warrant, but it's better than the police busting into your home whenever they feel like. I might not be thrilled that a guilty person is walking the street, but at least I still have my rights.
 
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tivodan1116

cnredd said:
Well, then why call them "Public Defenders"? Shouldn't they have a name more closely resembling there occupation?...Like "Society Harmers"?
Public = funded by tax dollars, i.e. "Public library"

This doesn't mean they are defending the public, although that really is what they are doing. Remember, everyone whom they represent is innocent of any crime until the very moment when the judge or jury pronounces them guilty. It's a strange concept that I don't expect most people to truly understand or appreciate, but trust me, if you were ever accused of a crime and didn't have any money, you'd be glad they were there.

"Society Harmers" would be inappropriate. The Public Defender doesn't harm society. They perform a service for indigent defendants and society alike by protecting the rights of the accused and by helping to make sure that persons punished for crimes were proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt (meaning we're not paying money to put innocent people in jail).
 

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tivodan1116 said:
But are they Constitutional?
Yes, they are. They are included in the 6th Amendment In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence. And that's held up by the US Supreme Court decision of Gideon v. Wainwright.
 

Youve Got To Be Kidding!

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And yes it is important that they do that. It is one of your rights to provent illegal search and seizure. burden of prrof is on the prosecution. Are americans that big a piece of **** low life scum?

If it where different there whould be MANY MORE people in prison. We already have more than any other country in the world encarcerated. Is that not enough?
 

superskippy

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I wonder what your lifespan on these forums will be if you don't calm down a bit, people would take you far more searously if you did.
 
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