Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Public defenders: What could be done to advance public confidence

Public defenders have a tough job. They are not only underpaid, but are the ones that truly ensure the most vulnerable are protected. Publid defenders do not protect rights; they protect people.

Publid defenders have a disadvantage in that they have a great responsibility, but few resources. This is not to say that they are wanting; only that when compared to the vast resources of government, public defenders often don't have timely access to information they really need.

This note outlines some things the public defenders could do to faciliate public confidence and support; and generate information that would be useful in protecting the public.

  • Impeaching public officials

    This is otherise known as discrediting a witness, or combatting perjury on the stand. Testilying happens all the time.

  • Exposing corruption and unfair practices

    Demand explanations why the public databases are not consistent with the incident reports.

    Police lying

    Trumped up charges

    Rebuffing complaints

  • Things for public defenders to look foor

    Inconsistencies between the incident file and the intelligence database. Why has no incident report been filed despite this information from the witness in the intelligence database?

    Complaints documented in the outbox without adequate documentation.

    Officer/agent promotion to positions with less personnel responsibilty.

  • Benefits of the public defender out reach program

    Gather information on specific officers

    Document cases citizen-officer interactions are documented in the private databases, but this information in not provided during a Brady-request.

    Identify officer statements to faciliate impeachment

    Strategy to impose consequences on law enforcment for
    - testlying;
    - trumping up charges;
    - interrogating witnesses and victims while rebuffing complaints;
    - identifying non-sense reasons for stops/pretextual reasons to violate the constitution

    Call to the courts attention situations where prosecutors continue to forward complaints to the court, despite an officer veracity problem

    - Why are these cases not declined?

    - Why no court sanctions on officers for trumping up charges?