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rights of accused persons

dstebbins

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When appointing a lawyer, the court tends to appoint a rookie lawyer to represent the defendant and a very skilled lawyer to represent themselves. This gives the prosecution an unfair advantage. I know of a family member who was in this situation because of a false speeding charge. He was wrongly convicted, and I believe it was because of the difference in skill of the lawyer. I think this is a direct violation of the right to fair trial and also a violation of the right to equal representation before the law.

So I emailed my US Senator, Mark Pryor, suggesting legislation that requires courts to appoint lawyers of equal, or roughly equal (going in semi-annual increments), experience. This does not mean they have to appoint expert public defenders. They can appoint novice lawyers for defendants, but if they do, they have to appoint a novice attorny for the prosecution.

I got the letter back yesterday, and he promised to look into the legislation I suggested as Congress neared reconvention. I was just wondering what you think of this bill. Is it a good idea? Should it be passed? Tell me your thoughts.
 

BWG

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Unfortunately, in our judicial system the deck is stacked against you, unless you have money. The law does not guarantee you equal representation, just representation. The government has a stable of lawyers (the District Attorney and Assistant District Attorneys), evidence gatherers (crime lab) and investigators (police, detectives, etc.). After enough evidence is gathered to charge you, it is their job to prove you guilty. They are not going to expend time, money and energy to find ways to prove your innocence. That onus is on you and that is where how much money you have comes into play.

Can you beat the system? Yes, I know it can be done, but it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to do research on the law and to figure out just exactly what you need to counter their accusations. You need to know how and when to file motions and other papers. When and how to counter their motions. It's a lot of paperwork and procedures. They try to wear you down with paperwork and drag the proceedings out. On top of that most judges don't like people going pro se, it slows down and clogs up their courts. It's not something I would recommend for the average person.

Will it change anytime in the near future? Again, unfortunately, I don't think so.





Why I say pre se is not for the average person.
Look at the second definition...LOL

PRO SE - Lat. "for himself" "on one's own behalf" A person who represents himself in court
alone without the help of a lawyer is said to appear pro se. (2) Lat. for “you lose.” also pro per
 

dstebbins

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BWG said:
Unfortunately, in our judicial system the deck is stacked against you, unless you have money. The law does not guarantee you equal representation, just representation. The government has a stable of lawyers (the District Attorney and Assistant District Attorneys), evidence gatherers (crime lab) and investigators (police, detectives, etc.). After enough evidence is gathered to charge you, it is their job to prove you guilty. They are not going to expend time, money and energy to find ways to prove your innocence. That onus is on you and that is where how much money you have comes into play.

Can you beat the system? Yes, I know it can be done, but it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to do research on the law and to figure out just exactly what you need to counter their accusations. You need to know how and when to file motions and other papers. When and how to counter their motions. It's a lot of paperwork and procedures. They try to wear you down with paperwork and drag the proceedings out. On top of that most judges don't like people going pro se, it slows down and clogs up their courts. It's not something I would recommend for the average person.

Will it change anytime in the near future? Again, unfortunately, I don't think so.





Why I say pre se is not for the average person.
Look at the second definition...LOL

PRO SE - Lat. "for himself" "on one's own behalf" A person who represents himself in court
alone without the help of a lawyer is said to appear pro se. (2) Lat. for “you lose.” also pro per
my Senator's looking into it. Does that tell you anything? Even if he doesn't agree with me, it would look good on him for pr purposes to introduce the bill, and it would look good on all the other 534 Congressmen to support a bill like this. I'm sure that if enough people took the optomistic attitude that I'm taking instead of the "It's never gonna happen so don't waste your time," we could use popular demand to force this bill through Congress. It's the fact that the people don't care that politicians are comfortable being corrupt. If more citizens started to speak out, we'd have a greater say.

You know, some of the greatest technological advances of all time were made by people faced with people taking the same attitude you are. Thomas Edison was mocked for his goal to invent the light bulb, and when he did it, he was the one laughing. What does that make of you?
 

Iriemon

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Not only do you not get equally experienced lawyers as a criminal defendant, but public defendants in many jurisdictions are not paid the same as prosecutors. The level of inexperience of some (certainly not all) public defenders in some cases I've seen is shocking. It is a reason why I oppose the death penalty. Not that I have a moral problem with the punishment, but because the system is so prone to error, in part because of this problem.

Good luck getting it changed. Based on what I read in forums like this one, I suspect that many or most Americans could care less about the rights of an accused, figure if they are arrested they are guilty, and would just as soon just have them thrown in jail rather than pay for a public defense.
 

dstebbins

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Iriemon said:
Not only do you not get equally experienced lawyers as a criminal defendant, but public defendants in many jurisdictions are not paid the same as prosecutors. The level of inexperience of some (certainly not all) public defenders in some cases I've seen is shocking. It is a reason why I oppose the death penalty. Not that I have a moral problem with the punishment, but because the system is so prone to error, in part because of this problem.

Good luck getting it changed. Based on what I read in forums like this one, I suspect that many or most Americans could care less about the rights of an accused, figure if they are arrested they are guilty, and would just as soon just have them thrown in jail rather than pay for a public defense.
You mentioned how most Americans feel. I always ask someone who doesn't care if they ever thought they'd be in a similar situation. They might be accused of a felony when a similar-looking person did it and they were only going off eyewitness hearsay. I'm sure that if more people were asked that question, they'd see what I'm talking about.

Consider this: Taxpayers supposedly have a say in where the money goes, but we all know that's not the case. If revenue isn't going to protecting and improving civil liberties, then where is it going? War on Terror, seizing private property through economic development (made legal through the infamous Kelo vs. New London, Conneticutt Supreme Court ruling), and other corrupt practices that benifit the government and the rich while hurting the common man. Now, if more people were to take a stand for what's right, we'd have a much less corrupt, money-driven government. The people DO have the power; they're just such mindless, drunkass whores that they don't realize what the power of the vote can do. They keep saying **** like "The entire government is corrupt as hell so why bother?" They don't realize it's their "why bother" attitude that made the government corrupt in the first place. Alright. I'm done ranting.
 

BWG

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dstebbins

Whoa...I think you have the wrong impression of me and if I conveyed that to you, my apologies.

I talked a little about pro se because I fought the system (actually a multi-million dollar corporation) and I prevailed. It's not easy and I don't recommend it for everyone, but it can be done. So I don't believe I have the attitude of "It's never gonna happen so don't waste your time" or "why bother". I fought against the odds. I fought the near impossible. It was a long, tiring battle and there were many, many times I asked myself 'why bother' or 'is it worth it'. But complete it I did.

I also volunteer in local and state politics in different capacities, so I'm not just sitting on the sidelines cheering or complaining. Even that sometimes feels like your banging your head against a brick wall...LOL

I don't like the current judicial system either, there are many more things I feel is wrong with it besides your concern for equal representation. It is definitely not in favor of the working man. How many hours of an attorney's time can you afford at $200-$400 an hour. Why do you think the majority of cases are plea bargained? Because the accused can't afford representation - good, bad or equal.

I'm just saying that you are in for a long, uphill battle and the road is full of twists and turns with poor visibility. It can be done, but don't expect instant gratification.

In any case good luck in your endeavor!!! :smile:
 

dstebbins

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Since you believe it can be done, why don't you join me in the fight? Right your three Congressman telling them that you would like them to support this legislation. I believe that it can be done, but not without enough support.:lol:
 
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