"I am not going to be your attorney"
August 7, 2015 2:04 PM   Subscribe

When Eric Wyatt told his public defender that he was mistakenly being thrown back into jail after already serving his time, his public defender cut him off with those eight words. He would spend over three months incarcerated before another public defender urged him to take a plea deal to serve 10 years in prison for a crime he already served time for. It would be another week, 110 days in total, before Wyatt would be set free.

Georgia's Cordele Judicial Circuit represents just one example of the breakdown of judicial governance in a time of mass incarceration, enormous social inequality, and budgetary austerity:
By 2003, when the first lawsuit against the Cordele criminal-justice system was filed—a class action on behalf of all poor people accused of crimes—almost half of the circuit's indigent defendants were pleading guilty without ever consulting a lawyer, and, according to court documents, the judges were allowing them to negotiate their sentences directly with the prosecutors. At the same time, defendants who asked for court-appointed counsel often regretted it. The circuit had just two part-time attorneys to fulfill its constitutional requirement; for a flat fee each handled all felony and misdemeanor appointments, probation revocation hearings, and appeals for two whole counties. In 2001, for example, each of these part-time lawyers was handling about 330 felonies, which was twice the number of felonies recommended by the Georgia Supreme Court in guidelines intended for full-time lawyers. And both of the Cordele defenders had significant legal practices on the side. One was also a municipal court judge, as likely to see a defendant from the bench as from a defense table.
posted by Ouverture (36 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
 
No one in power ever says "we can't afford to arrest all these people." Or "we can't afford to try all these people." Or "we can't afford to detain and imprison all these people."

But when it comes to defense lawyers - who are, theoretically, a critical part of our 'adversarial system' for trials - all of a sudden, everyone gets real real fucking budget-conscious.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:11 PM on August 7, 2015 [262 favorites]


A friend of mine was just pushed to negotiate directly with a prosecutor over a phony arrest. When my friend basically said that they weren't going to lie down and deal but planned to proceed to trial, all charges were dropped - but that probably wouldn't have happened except that my friend is white, upper middle class and truculent and could manifestly create a circus with a little effort. I don't want to talk about the specifics of the arrest, but it was very much a "cop doing something dubious arrests the witness" situation.

Though Wyatt and hundreds of others suffered from the circuit's refusal to meet its constitutional obligations, one party to the lawsuit fared quite well. Gov. Deal appointed Travis Sakrison to serve on the Georgia Superior Court and chose a lawyer named Bryan Tyson to replace him as director of the renamed Georgia Public Defender Council. Tyson earned his law degree from an unaccredited Christian correspondence school in Fresno, California. Like Sakrison, he has close connections to Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, having worked for the congressman as an aide. And like Sakrison, he has never spent a single day as a public defender.

Yep.
"I saw our masters
sat to dine
bloated on liberty,
yours & mine
I asked,
is there no portion
for the poor?
They answered,
surely
& belched up
the Law"
posted by Frowner at 2:12 PM on August 7, 2015 [38 favorites]


That is a wonderful, amazing framing, showbiz_liz.
posted by solitary dancer at 2:13 PM on August 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I remember watching Colors back in the 80s. There's a scene where the cops pull up and all the Black kids scatter. At the time, I thought that was ridiculous. Why run from the police if you have nothing to hide? I was completely clueless.
posted by Beholder at 2:30 PM on August 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


I spent a day sitting in City of Atlanta Superior Court once, waiting for a friend's case to come up. I guess I was about 18. It was very eye-opening for the white suburban youth. This is the court where minor crimes, like violations of city ordinances, were disposed of (almost always with 10 days in jail, sentence to be suspended on payment of a fine) and where defendants accused of more serious crimes were bound over to State court. I had never seen how this works, except as depicted on TV. For the minor crimes, if the cops said you were guilty, that was basically the end of the story. I saw people who had already been in jail for weeks pleading guilty to crimes that they may or may not have done, just to get sentenced to time served. The people being bound over for stuff like robbery were usually given court appointed attorneys, and they seemed visibly disgusted with the idea that these attorneys would do any good for them. Indeed, years later, I had friends who became public defenders, and they confirmed that they rarely could do anything more than advise their clients to plead guilty for reduced sentences, or to inform on other drug cases.
posted by thelonius at 2:46 PM on August 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


And thelonius, what you're describing also ties heavily into our bail system -- there's a lot less incentive to plea guilty to something you didn't do if you can bond out and sleep in your bed, rather than being forced to stay in jail pending your trial (which will be months away) because you can't afford a bond. It's tragic.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:56 PM on August 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread" -- Anatole France
posted by Native in Exile at 3:00 PM on August 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


For those who haven't read it, this (sorry, pdf format) is a classic article on plea bargaining and how the law involved compares with the medieval law of torture.
posted by bearwife at 3:00 PM on August 7, 2015 [29 favorites]


The other part of the bail problem is the flip side, there's a strong incentive to plea if you're locked up and get promised time served. Getting out is a hard proposition to turn down, even if you're innocent.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 3:14 PM on August 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


One of the most terrifyingly apparent realizations I've had in my life about my white middle class privilege is realizing directly how important it is to have a dedicated and professional criminal defense advocate when you fuck up in regards to the law.

Having to rely on a public defender when you are innocent? That's the stuff of even greater nightmares. It's easy to say you would never plead to something you didn't do but with the cold hard number of years is looking at you right in the face...most people take the bad deal.

I love lawyers. Lawyers are awesome. Slight derail, but Ironmouth is awesome, as much shit as people like me sometimes give him. They earn the money they make and it is generally a profession for people with the most intelligence and sense of fairness and public service.

But, lawyers, I have to ask you how you feel we can ethically go forward with public defender systems as they are in America. Can a prosecutor really feel like they are accomplishing something when so many defendants do not have lawyers who have the resources to do their job to the best of their ability?

To the laymen, it looks more like the rule of the dollar than the rule of the law a lot of the time.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:51 PM on August 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


" It would be another week, 110 days in total, before Wyatt would be set free."

If it were possible to file federal kidnapping charges against those holding him illegally, something tells me this status quo wouldn't be allowed to continue.
posted by markkraft at 3:51 PM on August 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


But, lawyers, I have to ask you how you feel we can ethically go forward with public defender systems as they are in America.

In my jurisdiction, we've taken huge efforts to keep public defense strong, we don't plead defendants ever without an attorney, the public defenders we have are incredibly skilled and competent, certainly on a level with excellent private criminal defenders and often better, and we have extra high qualification standards for capital case defense, Statewide we have also seen successful efforts -- spearheaded by some of my own jurisdiction's excellent criminal defenders -- to reduce public defender caseloads and make sure all criminal defendants get counsel. This has not made our criminal justice system perfect, but at least I don't lose sleep over the quality of criminal defense here.

Public defender systems differ depending where you are in the US, in short. I completely agree that every lawyer has an ethical obligation to work toward making sure they are as good as possible wherever that lawyer practices.
posted by bearwife at 4:00 PM on August 7, 2015 [18 favorites]


This seems simple to solve if anyone had the will to solve it. Pass laws saying that the budget for prosecutors' offices must match the budget for public defenders' offices -- including outside costs like expert witnesses, investigators and forensic testing. Discount it by some set percentage to account for the percentage of defendants who pay their own attorneys, if necessary.

Now, if they want to save money on PDs, they also have to cut back the resources of the prosecutors. That should free up some budget over on the court side and the running jails side, too.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:15 PM on August 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


This is an outrage filter post.
This is an outrage.
posted by growabrain at 4:17 PM on August 7, 2015


guys guys go read that thing that bearwife posted it's completely brilliant.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:25 PM on August 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


But, lawyers, I have to ask you how you feel we can ethically go forward with public defender systems as they are in America. Can a prosecutor really feel like they are accomplishing something when so many defendants do not have lawyers who have the resources to do their job to the best of their ability?

There's a massive difference between states that have a dedicated, full time, reasonably well paid and adequately funded defender system, Kentucky and Missouri do (well, mostly, "adequately funded" here is relative), off the top of my head, I don't know how many others do, and places that farm out cases on a piecemeal or part-time basis to dubiously qualified lawyers. I have friends in both places that I would take over a private attorney every time, they're dedicated, highly qualified and experienced criminal attorneys with more courtroom experience than all but the best private criminal lawyers. The problem is that they work 2000 cases a year, and don't have the time to put their full effort into every case, or anything close to it.

The solution, as with most things, is adequate funding to hire more qualified, dedicated public servants. But try proposing a tax increase to pay for indigent criminal defense in Georgia, and let me know how that works out for you.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:03 PM on August 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Beyond the obvious injustice of being tried and punished for the same crime twice, how is it that a new public defender wanted him to plea to a 20 year sentence (10 years to be served in prison) for a crime that only required only 179 days in prison previously?

The crime was "borrowing a truck and failing to return it on time" according to the article. So presumably the crime is something less serious than just stealing a vehicle. If 20 years with 10 in prison was DA plea offer what was the minimum/maximum sentence
posted by Ommcc at 5:15 PM on August 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


The public defenders I know are brilliant, pragmatic, overworked, almost overwhelmed, and ingenious in making the most with the time and resources they have. They remind me of Doctors without Borders or firemen during the Blitz, and probably help make more individual lives better in a week than I will in my entire career. Even with plea deals and fast turnarounds, there's a lot of latitude for clever bargaining and legal argumentation, and they do an amazing amount within the shitty system they're fighting. I can't say they sleep the sound sleep of the just, because it does prey upon you to see so many lives fucked over by unjust laws, uncaring judges and unscrupulous prosectors on a daily basis. But many of them turned down much more lucrative careers enriching corporations or empowering the powerful, and they are almost uniformly better people than I.
posted by chortly at 5:19 PM on August 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


A horror story for you from a few years ago; I'm probably getting some details wrong, but the gist is right:

An Atlantan couple I'm friendly with—let's call them Stella and Cassie—had one of their cars broken into in their driveway. I think at the time they were living in Lake Claire, a fairly posh ITP neighborhood. They called the police to report the break-in, as you do. When the police arrived, for some reason they ran checks on Stella and Cassie's drivers' licenses. Cassie's license came up with an outstanding years-old out-of-state traffic violation: for which Cassie had already completed the driving classes and paid the fine in the other state, years ago. Cassie told this to the cops, but before she could produce paperwork proof, the cops arrested her.

This was a Friday or Saturday morning, so Cassie would be held over until Monday morning for arraignment. Stella went to the police that day and tried to explain that Cassie was on daily medication for a mental health condition that she would need access to over the weekend.

The second the police heard "mental health condition," they heard "suicide risk," and they immediately put Cassie on 24-hour lockdown in solitary confinement. Without her medication. Once she was in solitary, the police would only allow family members or a legal representative to visit or talk to her. Since gay partnerships then had no legal rights in Georgia and Cassie is estranged from her family, Stella couldn't contact her at all. Meanwhile the weekend passed and the arraignment kept getting pushed back, pushed back, pushed back.

Cassie stayed in solitary confinement, off her meds, with no outside contact, for two weeks until the lawyer Stella hired could get her out on bail or something. By that time Cassie was nearly suicidal for real.

Cassie was only free that soon because in addition to being gay, she's also an affluent white collar exec who could afford the fancy, savvy lawyer who called in a personal favor with a judge to get Cassie out. Cassie was lucky she had a lot of privilege to draw on. But it scared the hell out of her, and us, how quickly she went from "Darn, my car got its window smashed" to "I'm locked up all alone for a minor crime I already paid for."

As far as I know, they never caught the car burglar.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:38 PM on August 7, 2015 [74 favorites]


But, lawyers, I have to ask you how you feel we can ethically go forward with public defender systems as they are in America

It's not lawyers' fault--and certainly not public defenders' fault--that the system is wacked. It is the fault of voters and politicians who allow it to be that way by refusing to pay adequate wages, hire enough staff, or even enforce the bare minimum requirements of the Constitution. You might as well ask anyone how they feel they can ethically live in a country with such a fucked up sense of justice. Although, I do think the question of how prosecutors and judges live with themselves knowing that they are complicit in a stacked deck is one worth asking.

states that have a dedicated, full time, reasonably well paid and adequately funded defender system, Kentucky and Missouri do (well, mostly, "adequately funded" here is relative), off the top of my head,

.... I mean, Kentucky and Missouri are better than some? But the starting annual income for a public defender (who has a doctorate degree and 7+ years of post secondary education) who works at least 60 hours a week in those states is less than $40,000 (source: I applied to PD jobs in the last 6 months in both of those states), and the caseloads are generally in the 300s with an hour or two to dedicate to every case. So, while I appreciate the sentiment, and I think that you are right that there is a big difference across states in terms of fixing this problem, frankly even the best places are dismal and unethical and racist and classist and a fucking travesty.
posted by likeatoaster at 5:40 PM on August 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


guys guys go read that thing that bearwife posted it's completely brilliant

I read it and I agree. What really struck me is the statistic about just how many plea bargains there are: 99% in some jurisdictions. I knew that plea bargains were common, but for some reason I still thought that we had a system of trial by jury for serious crimes. (I guess all those TV shows and Social Studies classes.)

We have a completely different justice system than I thought we did. I wonder, if I was living during the medieval age of torture, would I be as ignorant about how my justice system really worked?
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 5:43 PM on August 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


nicebookrack: well great that's another item on my "never talk to the cops never ever ever should you talk to the cops for any reason whatsoever" list.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:09 PM on August 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


That is a wonderful, amazing framing, showbiz_liz.

Credit (minus the 'fuck' parts) goes to my boss. I work for a nonprofit focused on criminal defense.

We provide direct services, but we are also currently working to get criminal legal aid in a prominent spot on the UN's post-2015 development agenda. It's an uphill battle, because nobody likes criminals, but it really is SO fucking important. If the state has the ability to fine, imprison, and/or outright kill you, you must have the ability to contest it. It feeds into several fundamental human rights.

I linked this before, but it really bears watching if you're interested in this stuff: a speech about the US criminal legal aid system, from a US DoJ representative to a mostly non-American audience. tl;dr: federalism is, at least in this case, completely mystifying and perverse.

This speech was from an international conference on criminal legal aid. I can't pretend every video is as interesting, but some of the others are also worth a look. Argentina and South Africa are both widely recognized as leaders in criminal legal aid, so they're good places to start if you want to learn about better ways of doing things. For example, here's a speech by an Argentinian PD that contains details like - in Argentina, prosecutors' and public defenders' salaries and benefits are pegged 1:1 to each other by law. Imagine that! So obvious, and so inconceivable here.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:45 PM on August 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


No one in power ever says "we can't afford to arrest all these people." Or "we can't afford to try all these people." Or "we can't afford to detain and imprison all these people."

But when it comes to defense lawyers - who are, theoretically, a critical part of our 'adversarial system' for trials - all of a sudden, everyone gets real real fucking budget-conscious.


For contrast, to show just how un-budget conscious they are on the prosecution side, James Holmes was just sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering 12 people in an Aurora, CO movie theater.

As reported on the excellent Talk Left politics of crime blog, Holmes agreed to plead guilty and accept a sentence of life without parole before trial, but Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler would not agree and insisted on a far more costly death penalty trial. The cost of this trial is estimated to be between $5 and $10 million. That money could have better spent elsewhere.
posted by layceepee at 7:10 PM on August 7, 2015 [20 favorites]


The solution, as with most things, is adequate funding to hire more qualified, dedicated public servants.

Another solution, where possible -- don't elect sociopaths as prosecuting attorneys and judges.
posted by JackFlash at 7:19 PM on August 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


The cost of this trial is estimated to be between $5 and $10 million. That money could have better spent elsewhere.

We could have given the 48,692 FTE teachers in Colorado a raise of $100-$200 a year. This one fucking trial is a 0.25-0.5% pay rise on average for a Colorado teacher. ONE TRIAL.
posted by Talez at 7:30 PM on August 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


As far as I know, they never caught the car burglar.

The message is clear. Don't bother us. Our job isn't to protect you or your property. Our job is to feed bodies into the system, and your body is just as good as any other.
posted by Beholder at 9:00 PM on August 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


Yeah, Beholder, it's hard to imagine otherwise why else the police ran warrant checks on Cassie and Stella's licenses in the first place. To make sure they weren't reporting a smashed car window under a false name? To see if the car was stolen?

Oh! I almost forgot: while she was in jail, Cassie was terrified she was going to lose her job, which IIRC she'd started relatively recently. She couldn't exactly call into work from jail to explain, and even then an employer might not react well to its new-ish white-collar exec calling to say "I can't come to work because I'm in jail." But I think luckily her employer was understanding, especially since the outstanding ticket was a mistake.

If Cassie's employer had enforced a stricter no call/no show firing policy, or she'd been dependent on a job that paid by the hour instead of a salary, she would've been even more breathtakingly screwed.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:26 PM on August 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


My cynical side says they ran those licenses and warrant checks because it was a same-gender couple and a lot of police are bigoted fuckheads.
posted by FritoKAL at 10:30 PM on August 7, 2015 [22 favorites]


You may be right, sadly. Atlanta's Eastside is typically a progressive area, but it's not like they fence out bigots at the border.

When the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, I was viciously glad thinking that if this kind of arrest happened again, the police could still lock up Cassie, but they couldn't keep Stella out with "family" rules or stop her from legal action on Cassie's behalf. But that still wouldn't be enough to help them if they were poor or if Cassie had no one on the outside fighting for her.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:18 AM on August 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't believe we can have a fair justice system as long as we have prosecution and defense attorneys as separate jobs.

I've written this here before and I understand how people of good faith can disagree.

But those objections don't convince me. Because it's not just the money. It's the system and connections which allow prosecutors to influence police departments and who become judges. It's the mindset that always being on one side of the criminal system side breeds.

We need attorneys who are criminal attorneys, not defense or prosecution, but both. Any attempt to have separate defense and prosecution offices will lead to structural imbalances. And because people (not just law enforcement and lawyers) have a bias towards having criminal cases done with, so they can think that justice has been done, this imbalance will always favor the side of prosecutor.

We understand that "Separate but equal" does not work. And it doesn't work here. Criminal justice will only consistently be balanced when everyone draws from the same resources and the players have self interested reasons to keep the rules balanced.
posted by bswinburn at 6:17 AM on August 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


I really think that the budget thing more has to do with the systemic issues around providing services to the poor in general. When I read this the other day, it reminded me of DCFS caseworkers caseworkers for the disabled, and caseworkers in general. It is the work more with less idea that there is always a place to sane money and the truth is the only thing it does is destroy quality.

Here is Chicago they now put bond towards your public defender so even if you can pay bond your will not get the money back even if you are innocent.

It makes me furious.
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:29 AM on August 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't believe we can have a fair justice system as long as we have prosecution and defense attorneys as separate jobs.

It sounds simple, but the implications involve some of the fundamental aspects of the adversarial system in general. Becoming ingrained in a client's position can cloud an attorney's judgment as to how that position will be perceived by a decision-maker. And that can easily become a pattern, with broader implications, when the attorney's client(s) is consistently on a particular side of a case. And forcing all criminal attorneys to wear both prosecution and defense masks will probably help resolve this greatly.

The problem is, and I'm basically restating in more general terms the good faith disagreement from before, is that it is very difficult for an attorney who does not believe in their client's position to provide the best possible representation to that client once the case comes before a decision-maker. Perhaps impossible. For prosecutors that may arguably be a good thing, indeed prosecutors already occupy a certain exception within the adversarial system. If a prosecutor does not believe in a case, they not only get a choice to not bring it, but generally are ethically obligated not to bring it. Defense attorneys do not have that option, they must and do defend clients who committed the acts they are accused of. But to be effective, they too must believe in their client's case. Even when they know their client did it. The solution you propose may make this much more difficult for defense attorneys. And then the solution may backfire and have the opposite of the desired effect. Wearing both prosecution and defense masks might have a marginal effect on the prosecution side, but weaken the defense side considerably.
posted by cheburashka at 9:23 AM on August 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


bswinburn, I had a whole answer typed up, but then I got so angry and upset that I had to delete it. I literally got panicky and sick to my stomach at the idea of any of my clients being represented by even the nicest, most decent, most upstanding prosecutor I can think of. I'd rather triple my case load than let any of those people near my clients. And it's not because they're bad people. It's because they do not believe that my clients' freedom is as important as abstract concepts of "justice" or whatever. And that makes me literally sick to my stomach.

There are systems where they do what you are proposing. What goes on there is basically that everyone, including the defense attorneys, rolls over to make it easier for people to get convicted, because that's efficient and they don't want to make enemies, and if they fought too hard for any individual person on anyone one case it might affect their promotions. They all collaborate and horse trade to make sure that the "right" people get convicted and that everyone basically gets the bare minimum defense they can get away with so that no one has to work too hard. And if you buck that system, you get drummed out of it. IT DOES NOT WORK. I know it sounds like a nice idea, where everyone is dedicated to the cause of fairness or something, but it does not work. It makes things much, much worse than they already are. At least here, when the judges and prosecutors are colluding to try to ruin my clients' lives, there's someone on the other side trying to stop them. In your system, everyone works together to ruin my clients' lives more efficiently and with as little fuss as possible.

My job as a criminal defense attorney is not to be fair to everyone and to make sure that everything works out the way it's supposed to and that justice and truth prevail. My job is to fight tooth and nail, with everything I have within the bounds of what the rules allow, to free my client. There is no one on earth who deserves anything less than that. At least under our current system, a person who has a court-appointed lawyer has a shot at getting someone who gives a shit. Under your system, the only people who win are the lawyers. And it literally makes me sick to my stomach when I think about the fact that people who don't believe that are making decisions about what my clients deserve. Your idea literally turns my stomach, because it is so fundamentally wrong and would make things so, so much worse than they already are.

I think you're a lawyer, right? I really hope that you're not a criminal defense lawyer. If you are, I really hope that you're being honest with your clients that you'd just as soon see their freedom taken away as see them freed because it serves some higher purpose of "fairness," or whatever it is you think is important. I hope you're telling them that you consider the job of saving their lives to be morally equivalent to the job of having them killed, and that you'd be happy to be on either side, because you don't actually give a shit about their freedom or their lives.

I probably shouldn't be a part of this conversation. I'm too close to the issue. I feel too strongly about it, and it's personally offensive to me. I feel like I'm about to cry, or maybe throw up, just thinking about my poor, desperate, amazing clients being defended by prosecutors. Or by people who think like you do. And I'm sorry if that's upsetting to you and your ideas of what might make good public policy. But your idea literally makes me sick. And I don't consider this to be a "good faith" disagreement. When you are saying that in order to have I job where I have the privilege of working to save people's lives, I should also have to switch sides sometimes and murder them, you are not acting in good faith.
posted by decathecting at 9:38 PM on August 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


(I really did delete a whole comment because it was too emotional, and what I wrote above is the less emotional version. The original version had swear words and personal insults. I tried to tone it down. I apologize if I'm too emotional to be a part of this conversation.)
posted by decathecting at 9:40 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I should say, too, that in my experience, the places with the worst criminal defense bars are the ones where prosecutors and defense lawyers switch sides frequently. That's not a formal requirement that people switch sides, but even systems where that's tolerated tend on average to have worse criminal defense, higher caseloads, less zealous advocacy among defenders, etc.

I mean, the system you're proposing, where you could be a judge one day and a prosecutor the next day and a defense attorney the day after that? That's literally the system that the DOJ just wrote a hundred page report condemning in St. Louis County, MO. It breeds corruption and makes people unwilling to actually fight for their clients and turns the entire criminal justice system into a corrupt revenue generating machine where all the lawyers are just in it for themselves and don't give a shit about their clients. That system is what gave us Ferguson. And you want more of that?
posted by decathecting at 9:52 PM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


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