Minnesota public defenders question i...

Minnesota public defenders question if justice is served

There are 95 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Aug 16, 2010, titled Minnesota public defenders question if justice is served. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

When it comes to keeping the wheels of justice rolling, all is not well in Minnesota's 3rd Judicial District, and public defenders across the state are standing up to take shuddering notice.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

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Freedom Lover

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Aug 16, 2010
Equal justice is and always has been a total myth. At the end of the day we're at the gold standard. The one with the gold sets the standard.

“Sustainability Now!”

Since: May 08

Vadnais Heights

#3 Aug 17, 2010
The lack of resources for Public Defenders (PD)is already a low-level crisis, soon to become a major breakdown in our law-and-order society. Despite the understanding that "Justice delayed is justice denied," avoiding tax increases by cutting the PD budgets is TOTALLY counterproductive.

Many sneer at giving free representation to "thugs." Not only does this attitude sneer at the American presumption of innocence (a hallmark of American justice), the result of cutting the PD budgets may actually result in "thugs" going free instead of the prison time they so richly deserve.

When thugs go free because of inadequate PD representation, are turned loose upon additional victims -- what is the TRUE cost of those budget cuts? Can we, as a society, afford these cuts?

I say NO! Press the question of adequate PD funding to your choice of candidates for Governor and MN legislature. Don't settle for mealy-mouthed, avoid-the-question answers. Your own safety and that of your family are at stake here.

This is an issue that transcends Party labels!

Since: Apr 08

Minneapolis

#4 Aug 17, 2010
I recall the during the Republican National Convention where the Public Defenders were boasting that they were "available" in case anyone got arrested.
Just sayn

Saint Paul, MN

#5 Aug 17, 2010
The main problem is that any can get a PD merely by asking for one. The eligibility screening is a joke.
What the

Manchester, CT

#6 Aug 17, 2010
The more Minnesota becomes a nanny state the more people are becoming criminals. Maybe Minnesota needs to back off some of the BS laws.

“Just dance.........”

Since: Jan 09

East Side

#7 Aug 17, 2010
Just sayn wrote:
The main problem is that any can get a PD merely by asking for one. The eligibility screening is a joke.
No, the eligibility screening is not a joke. Believe it or not some people do NOT qualify for a public defender.
Redbird

Iron River, WI

#8 Aug 17, 2010
Does anyone seriously believe that Emmer has a solution for this or any other problem.
ugot2begood

Minneapolis, MN

#9 Aug 17, 2010
Greg Lang,

The RNC was two years ago. There have been two budget cuts to the PDs office since them.

Also, the RNC protesters would not have been represented by the Third Judicial Public Defender's Office. Th RNC was in Ramsey County, which is in the Second Judicial District
P T Bull

Minneapolis, MN

#10 Aug 17, 2010
The article is simply a political advocation of more money for public defenders, and lacks any context or perspective. Prosecutors 'juggle' a lot of cases too, but these PDs don't work on 250 cases a day, that's just what they have in their files and have to work on from time to time.

Also, the organization that 'recommends' PD caseloads is simply a political group that helps liberals lobby for more PD money.

Another poster makes a good point, that in an authoritarian state where regular activities like throwing leaves in the garbage, or buying a 5 gallon toilet, are crimes, the criminal justice system will be bogged down.
P T Bull

Minneapolis, MN

#11 Aug 17, 2010
ugot2begood wrote:
Greg Lang,
The RNC was two years ago. There have been two budget cuts to the PDs office since them.
Also, the RNC protesters would not have been represented by the Third Judicial Public Defender's Office. Th RNC was in Ramsey County, which is in the Second Judicial District

The article clearly generalized the problem from the 3rd district to statewide, and even nationwide.
Yabetcha

Burnsville, MN

#12 Aug 17, 2010
Greg Lang wrote:
I recall the during the Republican National Convention where the Public Defenders were boasting that they were "available" in case anyone got arrested.
Maybe you need to consider early testing for Alzheimer's.
captnquint

Burnsville, MN

#13 Aug 17, 2010
i would be in favor of a tax increase that was spent only on police and PDs. the problem would be that the libs would try and get the funds to give out free lunch or some touchy feely program. we don't have a tax problem, we have a spending problem.
rogue38k

Hoffman, MN

#14 Aug 17, 2010
The big problem is that everything is a felon, then you plea it down to some misdemeanor. That is why it takes a lawyer so much time. Everybody knows in the system what will stick. why not charge them with that and speed things up?

“Sharon4Anderson”

Since: Feb 08

St. Paul, Minnesota

#15 Aug 17, 2010
Keep tracking the Candidate for W.SaintPaul Mayor MaryJane Duchene who had to fire her Public defendar, Judge Perkins should not have continued with the "Jury Trial" until the Court found MaryJane Duchene Effective Assistance of Counsel
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&am...
MARY JANE DUCHENE FOR WEST ST. PAUL MAYOR - 2004 - 8 visits - Jun 28
Mary Jane will work to ensure that available federal funding is obtained for required repairs low income and senior citizens in West St. Paul, so that these ...
www.angelfire.com/mn3/mj4mayor/ - Cached - Similar

MaryJane has been libeled with Malice by the www.levander.com Law Firm who lawyer Kori Land is
Independant Contractor as City Attorney.

WOW if Mary Jane is elected and the public find out how much these Lawyers are "contracted" paid
Mary Jane must win the Election..

http://notforthemonosyllabic.blogspot.com/
How many

Maple Grove, MN

#16 Aug 17, 2010
How many of these cases are petty marijuana cases? Drop all the pot cases and see how busy you really are.

Since: Jun 09

Olathe, KS

#17 Aug 17, 2010
Maybe a fee should be added when someone pays a fine that goes to the public defender fund. Then you have those breaking the law paying for it and not the rest of us.
sage1

Minneapolis, MN

#18 Aug 17, 2010
Just sayn wrote:
The main problem is that any can get a PD merely by asking for one. The eligibility screening is a joke.
State your source. Everywhere in Mn or just in one place on one day that you were there? Don't be sloppy.
Bud in St Paul

Minneapolis, MN

#19 Aug 17, 2010
Madaman wrote:
The lack of resources for Public Defenders (PD)is already a low-level crisis, soon to become a major breakdown in our law-and-order society. Despite the understanding that "Justice delayed is justice denied," avoiding tax increases by cutting the PD budgets is TOTALLY counterproductive.
Many sneer at giving free representation to "thugs." Not only does this attitude sneer at the American presumption of innocence (a hallmark of American justice), the result of cutting the PD budgets may actually result in "thugs" going free instead of the prison time they so richly deserve.
When thugs go free because of inadequate PD representation, are turned loose upon additional victims -- what is the TRUE cost of those budget cuts? Can we, as a society, afford these cuts?
I say NO! Press the question of adequate PD funding to your choice of candidates for Governor and MN legislature. Don't settle for mealy-mouthed, avoid-the-question answers. Your own safety and that of your family are at stake here.
This is an issue that transcends Party labels!
I agree 100% with your statement.
i hate socialists

Saint Paul, MN

#20 Aug 17, 2010
Just another example of an efficient gov't run program.

Is there nothing the gov't can't screw up?
ugot2begood

Minneapolis, MN

#21 Aug 17, 2010
PT BULL

Prosecutors also have very tough jobs. But in some, perhaps many, counties the open number of cases for PDs is twice, or nealy twice that of the prosecutors. You can do a search yourself at the Minnesota Courts MNCIS Web Site by typing in prosecutors' and defenders' names and clicking on open cases.

And prosecutors have several times the secretratial and suport staff that PDs have .In the Third District, there are 11,000 cases for 24 attorneys, 2 paralegals, 4 secretaries and 2 1/2 investigators. There is no prosecution office this woefully staffed anywhere in Minnesota.

Prosecutors aren't overstaffed. In fact they could use more help. It is just that PDs are far too understaffed.

Let's cut the number of cases if we don't have the money to adequately staff public defense. Decriminalize minor drug offenses. Divert non-violent offenders.

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