August 24, 2004

Unequal Defense, Chapter V: Enter the Equalizer

Things are looking way up for one of the young murder defendants in Grant County, Washington:

"A Grant County Superior Court judge appointed Michele Shaw to Jake Eakin's defense, replacing another court-appointed lawyer who had asked out of the case because of slow payment. Shaw represented the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway, and has handled several high-profile juvenile murder cases, including Barry Loukaitis, a 14-year-old convicted in 1997 of killing his teacher and two classmates at a Moses Lake school."

No joy for the co-defendant, at least not yet. Memo to Randy Smith, his lawyer who's four years out of law school, who asked, 'what does it help to bring in a lawyer from out-of-town?': us small-town practitioners need to buck up and swallow our country pride some times. It can do a lot of good to bring in outside talent, especially if they've done this a few more times than we have and are better at this than we are.