25 May 2016

Chicago Ignores The Right To Counsel

Colorado used to make misdemeanor defendants plea bargain before having counsel appointed, which federal courts subsequently held was unconstitutional.  So, Colorado district attorneys have had to reform their practices.

Chicago is worse.  Only 1% of people incarcerated in its jails have seen a lawyer, in a clear violation of the constitutional right of indigent criminal defendants to be represented by counsel at public expense.  Of course, this isn't the only thing rotten in Chicago, which is also violating numerous other constitutional rights of its citizens in its criminal justice process.


The criminal justice system is notorious for defending police officers who behave badly no matter how obvious it is that they have screwed up.

A recent case out of San Diego (in which the police lost an appeal to the 9th Circuit) in which police mounted a massive armed raid on a 7 year old girl's birthday party despite quickly learning that the tip that they received had no connection to reality is typical.  Police authority evaporates almost instantly in the absence of probable cause or a reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct, but police aren't at all good at backing down when they learn that a situation is far different from what their tip led them to believe.  Yet, the government has strenuously defended the bad police conduct at trial and on appeal, to no avail, rather than conceding that obvious misconduct was wrong.

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