I love the blog Grits for Breakfast, plain honest talk about the fucked up system that defines jurisprudence in Texas. Frankly I don't think it is all that unique but Texas does it bigger that is for sure.
In a recent entry about the defense of the indigent and issues that surround all cases not just capital felonies, the lack of lawyers and in turn abilities to defend oneself becomes further and further out of reach with each passing day. Once you waive that right for a speedy trial or even if you don't as in some municipalities they can and do work round it, you find yourself on what I call a conveyor belt.
I wrote this to comment about my frustration and in turn found a comment that was so self depreciating I could not believe it was from an actual Attorney. The exception and the rule just met the most angry distrustful woman with regards to Attorneys and their self interest. Every now and then it is nice to be wrong.
I agree. Regardless of the type of crime in which one finds oneself, you are pushed through as if on a conveyor belt....with or without a private attorney. I should know after going into debt and being forced to sign a promissory note to the Public Defenders office after getting a loan from a bank to pay a private attorney. He then goes I can't do anymore on your case without more money. Okay then. So off to the PD who said we can't take your case so we will pay your Attorney and you can pay us. This is the system criminalizing poverty and ensuring poverty if you try to fight it.
Attorneys are loathe to actually do the heavy lifting. Such as find the law, argue the law and force the state to actually prove their case with evidence. Cross examine the States experts, challenge their role (as in the infamous Stephen Hayne) and demand Judges to truly be unbiased individuals whom are there to hear all sides of the case,
Anyone trying to challenge the State finds a wall created of bullshit created by Attorneys to ensure that their bottom line is protected not those they serve.
Prosecutorial misconduct is an epidemic, imagine if the Bar Association actually did something about that!
Read some of the bullshit "BLAWGS" by defense attorneys that rant on lamenting the lack of justice for certain cases.. meanwhile doing NOTHING to change it.
The system is broken. We need to change it by working with some of the existing groups that truly see the system for what it is - a sham
Anonymous said... (in response to my above comment)
The comment I'm about to make probably will be of little use and is nothing more than my observation but, a previous commenter wrote:
"Attorneys are loathe to actually do the heavy lifting. Such as find the law, argue the law and force the state to actually prove their case with evidence. Cross examine the States experts, challenge their role (as in the infamous Stephen Hayne) and demand Judges to truly be unbiased individuals whom are there to hear all sides of the case
Now for my comment: Truer words have never been spoken. After a bout with a corrupt Texas criminal justice system myself, at 41 years of age, I went to law school. In the short couple of years I have been practicing I have been amazed at how lazy and incompetent a typical lawyer can be. I haven't really ventured into criminal defense but what I've seen on the civil side is downright scary. Right out of law school I could argue circles around much more experienced attorneys just because I took the time to do some research and actually learn what the law was on a particular issue.
Way to many attorneys never do any research and simply fly by the seat of their pants thinking their dazzling personality and brilliance will carry the day. I hate to say it, but, in some cases, a criminal defendant may be better off going pro se than relying on some of the attorneys I've seen. Don't get me wrong, I have also seen a few truly brilliant, hardworking, and dedicated attorneys but they are the exception rather than the rule.
Now, unfortunately, this phenomenon isn't limited to those in the legal profession. I saw it in other fields I worked in also. Just pure laziness and wanted to make a buck the easiest way possible, whether it was the right way or not. I guess that's a symptom of our sick society. Or maybe its just human nature. I dont' know. Like I said, my comment really has no purpose or usefulness.
Anonymous said... (my response)
It has immense use to me. Thank you for your supportive and most importantly honest words.
As I have found myself at the end of a broken chain of two systems - the criminal and the medical one - I found it better to at least on the civil end go alone after I watched two supposed highly acclaimed Attorneys utterly botch my case. One went to Harvard which I have always suspected as a school on reputation alone. These two men sat on the sidelines and utterly allowed the Prosecution and a Judge who should be judging dog shows he was so clueless to allow me to lose.
As I watched my civil rights go out the window along with my savings I could not believe what I was watching. I had been warned that the PD was a useless tool of plea bargaining but this is our system... arrogant, ignorant and yes lazy.
Lazy is the definitive when it comes to both systems. Education is the third in that Bermuda triangle and on that I can say I also have experience.
It is embarrassing to think that law schools are plowing out these idiots at a rapid clip, with immense debt to the point that our system is clogged with more underemployed lawyers that could actually do something useful. And they elect to not. Why? Money, I assume.
I have paid the same lawyer now with the current PD debt I just assumed that he "negotiated" for me over 25K. The other lawyer I tried was 3K. I make 25K a year. I will file bankruptcy once the appeal is done but he walks away free and clear regardless of the outcome. I am not sure I can say the same.
He is an utter asshole and I have no respect for him or the member of his "tribe" whom I have encountered on this road to ruin. But your words restored my belief that some people are honest. Thanks for that.
It came after Thanksgiving when I had received a brief from another Attorney in the civil case I am going pro se on. And even the paralegal went "wow that was one nasty response, he sure opened the door to a reply that at this point leaves nothing to lose" and I have nothing to lose. They are scum and their representation reflects that.
And it is good to know that regardless of the kind of law these fuckwits practice they are largely fuckwits who then become Judges! Ah the circle of life.