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Author Topic: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread  (Read 4386 times)

A.

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The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« on: June 10, 2008, 12:57:24 PM »
As entitled.  This should have been done a while ago; let's see if it catches on (;) @ Miss P)

A.

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2008, 12:58:02 PM »
Plan to Cut Back Public Defenders Stirs Worry in Georgia
By BRENDA GOODMAN

ATLANTA — The chief judge of the Fulton County Superior Court on Monday sharply criticized a state plan to lay off a large group of public defenders, saying it could cause a legal crisis.

On Friday, the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, which administers Georgia’s defender system, announced it would close the Metro Conflict Defender Office, one of four such offices in Georgia that handle cases in which it would be a conflict of interest for the local public defender’s office to represent more than one client charged with the same crime. The issue arises when, for example, two defendants in the same bank robbery turn on each other after they are arrested.

Council officials say eliminating the office is necessary in a year when the state Legislature did not allot enough money for the defense of the indigent in Georgia. The office employed 21 people, including 17 lawyers.

The cuts, which are to take effect June 30, will effectively eliminate all conflict defenders for clients in superior and juvenile courts in metropolitan Atlanta. They now represent 1,850 defendants.

On Monday, the county’s chief judge, Doris L. Downs, called the layoffs “irresponsible.”

The decision has sent court officials and prosecutors scrambling to come up with alternative plans.

“We’re trying a case that involves nine gang members,” said Paul L. Howard Jr., the district attorney for Fulton County. “How could you expect the Public Defender to handle more than one or two of these defendants?”

In conflict cases, a separate defense lawyer is required by codes of professional conduct and by legal precedents upheld by the Supreme Court, said Bruce Green, professor of law at Fordham University.

Asked how his office might cope in the absence of conflict defenders, Mr. Howard, with a hint of weary sarcasm, said, “We’re hoping, in the future, that if people are going to commit crimes in Fulton County, they’ll do it singly.”

The state Legislature appropriated $5.4 million for conflict defenders for the coming fiscal year, a reduction from the $9 million appropriated for this year.

The state defenders council has not yet offered a plan for handling the cases. Robert Crawford, the council’s director, did not return calls for comment.

Vernon S. Pitts, the public defender for Fulton County, said council officials had considered offering the county $800,000, or $400 a case, to pay private lawyers to handle its conflict cases. It is not clear whether that is enough money.

In 2003, the indigent defense system in Georgia, a piecemeal system of county programs that had been ranked among the worst in the United States, was overhauled to provide statewide oversight and financing. The changes were intended to eliminate practices like contracting defense cases to lawyers who often had little experience or interest in criminal defense.

“Now they’re proposing that we use a contract system, which is probably the worst system,” Mr. Pitts said. “It’s disheartening to see them going backwards at this point.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/10/us/10defenders.html?_r=2&sq=Georgia%20and%20public%20defenders&st=nyt&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&scp=1&adxnnlx=1213099450-ydlcTI0Ir/XBoA/4l+eKyg&oref=slogin

A.

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2008, 12:59:03 PM »
Interesting:

Sociologists and economists who study rural poverty say the gasoline crisis in the rural South, if it persists, could accelerate population loss and decrease the tax base in some areas as more people move closer to urban manufacturing jobs. They warn that the high cost of driving makes low-wage labor even less attractive to workers, especially those who also have to pay for child care and can live off welfare and food stamps.

“As gas prices rise, working less could be the economically rational choice,” said Tim Slack, a sociologist at Louisiana State University who studies rural poverty. “That would mean lower incomes for the poor and greater distance from the mainstream.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/business/09gas.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5087&em&en=6f670d584b64a570&ex=1213243200

Miss P

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2008, 02:18:07 AM »
[tag]

Gracias, Alcito. ;)

I thought about posting the Georgia article as well. 

And what "urban manufacturing" jobs are we talking about here?
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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TruOne

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2008, 10:01:42 AM »
Plan to Cut Back Public Defenders Stirs Worry in Georgia
By BRENDA GOODMAN

ATLANTA — The chief judge of the Fulton County Superior Court on Monday sharply criticized a state plan to lay off a large group of public defenders, saying it could cause a legal crisis.

On Friday, the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, which administers Georgia’s defender system, announced it would close the Metro Conflict Defender Office, one of four such offices in Georgia that handle cases in which it would be a conflict of interest for the local public defender’s office to represent more than one client charged with the same crime. The issue arises when, for example, two defendants in the same bank robbery turn on each other after they are arrested.

Council officials say eliminating the office is necessary in a year when the state Legislature did not allot enough money for the defense of the indigent in Georgia. The office employed 21 people, including 17 lawyers.

The cuts, which are to take effect June 30, will effectively eliminate all conflict defenders for clients in superior and juvenile courts in metropolitan Atlanta. They now represent 1,850 defendants.

On Monday, the county’s chief judge, Doris L. Downs, called the layoffs “irresponsible.”

The decision has sent court officials and prosecutors scrambling to come up with alternative plans.

“We’re trying a case that involves nine gang members,” said Paul L. Howard Jr., the district attorney for Fulton County. “How could you expect the Public Defender to handle more than one or two of these defendants?”

In conflict cases, a separate defense lawyer is required by codes of professional conduct and by legal precedents upheld by the Supreme Court, said Bruce Green, professor of law at Fordham University.

Asked how his office might cope in the absence of conflict defenders, Mr. Howard, with a hint of weary sarcasm, said, “We’re hoping, in the future, that if people are going to commit crimes in Fulton County, they’ll do it singly.”

The state Legislature appropriated $5.4 million for conflict defenders for the coming fiscal year, a reduction from the $9 million appropriated for this year.

The state defenders council has not yet offered a plan for handling the cases. Robert Crawford, the council’s director, did not return calls for comment.

Vernon S. Pitts, the public defender for Fulton County, said council officials had considered offering the county $800,000, or $400 a case, to pay private lawyers to handle its conflict cases. It is not clear whether that is enough money.

In 2003, the indigent defense system in Georgia, a piecemeal system of county programs that had been ranked among the worst in the United States, was overhauled to provide statewide oversight and financing. The changes were intended to eliminate practices like contracting defense cases to lawyers who often had little experience or interest in criminal defense.

“Now they’re proposing that we use a contract system, which is probably the worst system,” Mr. Pitts said. “It’s disheartening to see them going backwards at this point.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/10/us/10defenders.html?_r=2&sq=Georgia%20and%20public%20defenders&st=nyt&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&scp=1&adxnnlx=1213099450-ydlcTI0Ir/XBoA/4l+eKyg&oref=slogin

So in other words, Criminal Justice in Georgia is back to normal?

Brian Nichols is gonna FRY if Georgia has anything to say about it. He has embarrassed this state so many different ways:

- Had every Law Enforcement Agency spinning their wheels for at least 12 hours searching for a car that was RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE CRIME SCENE.

- Has dragged out the pre-trial portion of his trial for YEARS much to the chagrin of Fulton County Prosecutors

- Has caused one Judge to be brought up on possible charges by the State Bar's Judicial Council.

- Has cost the Public Defender Program close to 5 MILLION dollars just to defend.

- Coupe de grace: Has forced the State to spend MILLIONS just to prosecute him because he refuses to plead guilty.


It really doesn't pay to committ a crime in this state, all you are doing is asking to be given a TTT criminal justice system experience.
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A.

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2008, 11:07:18 AM »
And what "urban manufacturing" jobs are we talking about here?

I was curious about that one too.  But I know many southern states have been courting foreign manufacturers very heavily.  Back home, for instance, many people who lost jobs when the local textile company moved to Mexico were able to get jobs at the Honda plant that recently opened.  Same for the Mercedes plant.  And they're also hoping the Northrop/EADS deal comes through b/c they'll locate a factory in Mobile.  But these plants generally aren't being located in urban centers, so I'm not sure where that comes from.

A.

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2008, 11:08:38 AM »
Brian Nichols is gonna FRY if Georgia has anything to say about it.

As well he should.  But I do fear that b/c he has become so notorious, his execution will be akin to the lynching parties of yore...

TruOne

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2008, 11:10:13 AM »
And what "urban manufacturing" jobs are we talking about here?

I was curious about that one too.  But I know many southern states have been courting foreign manufacturers very heavily.  Back home, for instance, many people who lost jobs when the local textile company moved to Mexico were able to get jobs at the Honda plant that recently opened.  Same for the Mercedes plant.  And they're also hoping the Northrop/EADS deal comes through b/c they'll locate a factory in Mobile.  But these plants generally aren't being located in urban centers, so I'm not sure where that comes from.


Here in Ga they shut down the Ford Plant a few years ago, but now the Gov. managed to wrangle Kia into setting up a plant here. But it is located in West Ga. a good hour away from ATL. I understand that people need jobs, but still, gas ain't no joke and you gotta drive an HOUR+ from home as opposed to the old Ford Plant that was inside the city.

Choices choices. . .
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TruOne

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2008, 11:11:53 AM »
Brian Nichols is gonna FRY if Georgia has anything to say about it.

As well he should.  But I do fear that b/c he has become so notorious, his execution will be akin to the lynching parties of yore...


Hell yeah it will be. This man has basically made Georgia look even dumber than it normaly is. I feel bad for the new DA that has to come in and deal with this case.
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Gengiswump

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Re: The Poverty and Social Justice Thread
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 02:53:57 AM »
You think, if I'm really good, Alci will give me a sex law thread for Christmas?

(Oh, and tag.)
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