November 30, 2004

When the job's good, it's very, very good

Public Defender Dude returns with a couple of new posts (fans to Dude: write more often!). One is an almost lyrical portrayal of a moment when everything that's pleasurable and noble about being a p.d. "clicks," and you help one individual get some justice in this world. The Dude abides...

The other is a philosophical disquisition in the form of a plug for "The Wire". Excellent show! I suspicion that there are tons of p.d.'s and d.a.'s who watch it. Brody saw his first episode and immediately bought the whole first season on DVD - me, I'm waiting for season 2, that and for our household to actually own a DVD player. Too bad the jail doesn't have HBO; instead of re-reading Louis Lamour novels, our clients could be picking up some fresh moves and dialogue.

An honest prosecutor

One of the best aspects of work these past six years, seven months and three days was working opposite an elected county prosecutor who could be depended on to do the right thing:

"In any given case, it's the prosecutor's duty to investigate the case beyond what the police reports say ," said Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs.

"The culmination of all the evidence and non-evidence is enough to convince us we don't have enough to prosecute him. The evidence we got from the FBI ... none of that points to him," he said.

"There's never a time when you are committed to prosecuting," Loebs added. "You dismiss the charge if the evidence shows you should."

Do criminal defense long enough in jurisdictions where the prosecutor is not just, and you truly appreciate finding a prosecutor who is.

P.D.'s don't need more $ - the D.A. said so!

The Kentucky brothers and sisters are pulling out all the stops. I admire the dedication, but really, when the going gets this tough, the tough get caller ID:

- "Allen Graf, a public defender in Bowling Green, said he's given up trying to talk to clients during the day and instead allows them to call him — collect — at his home in the evening."

- "Public defender Harolyn Howard said the caseload in Pikeville is so high she sometimes sleeps on a couch on her office when she works late at night preparing for a trial. She doesn't have time to get ready for trials during the day because she's either in court on other cases or meeting with clients, she said."

- "One recent morning, public defender Krsna Tibbs ran from courtroom to courtroom, representing about a half-dozen people in Jefferson District Court. With clients waiting, Tibbs had yet another case, a man charged with multiple domestic violence offenses, theft and traffic violations. But the judge wanted a trial within the hour. The client spoke only Spanish, and Tibbs couldn't find an interpreter."

Meanwhile in Baton Rouge, one brave prosecutor speaks out against the Sixth Amendment: Taxpayers shouldn't pay to defend poor people accused of crimes, he says. Out of touch with the mainstream? They report, you decide.

November 28, 2004

Happy trials to you

Not going into the office in the morning, or the morning after that, or any office any morning until Olympia five weeks from now. Feeling guilty and relieved in equal parts, my clients having tapped me pretty near to the last full measure of exasperation, tomorrow I'll be recharging by packing the basement at home while three of my colleagues alternate between covering each others' and my appearances down in Courtrooms 1 and 2, and interviewing upstairs for my old chief p.d. job.
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For the occasion, here are a few lines from my classmate Diane Raptosh, published poet and Akhmatova look-alike:

...Do I regret
having left Idaho?

Rest assured, I love this place.
Foxes walk on water here

and the weather changes faster
than two fluent trains of thought.

Can you tell me what to hold out for?
Some miracle of spring if I decide

to backtrack home? Or will I find
hoarfrost for a homecoming bed?

- from "Weather Watch," Just West of Now, Montreal, Guernica Editions, 1992

November 26, 2004

Checks and balances: Patriot Act meets Red State jury

We talked a few months ago about the case of Sami Al-Hussayen, a Saudi Arabian grad student at the University of Idaho accused of Internet links to terrorism. Al-Hussayen was acquitted by a federal jury in Boise last June 10th.

Fort Boise has linked to a Seattle Times piece from earlier this week which may be the most thorough article about the case, the stakes for the government and the defense, and the 12 average Idahoans who called b.s. on the whole production.

November 23, 2004

Another Boise jury votes to kill another man

Just before noon today, Azad Abdullah was sentenced to die by an Ada County jury for the October 2002 death of his wife Angie. Reports from Boise TV stations are here and here.

This looks like the second stage of a bad new trend. Insh'allah, the appellate lawyers will go to work now and get some relief for Mr. Hall and Mr. Abdullah.

November 22, 2004

Gutting it out

I Respectfully Dissent sets and Crim Law spikes the infalibility of your local law enforcement officer's gut instincts.

Bryan Gates quotes a North Carolina cop - “You can talk to most detectives. They can sit right in front of a suspect. They have a gut feeling. ‘This is the man. Now how am I going to prove it?’” - and observes, "The only flaw in the "trust your gut" credo is that a gut can be wrong...What hope is there for someone when an officer's gut says he is guilty and the suspect has no alibi?"

Ken Lammers does a fine job of portraying the legal world where our clients live, where "(a) 15 minute stop and search is just not all that uncommon... The violations of the rights of several citizens based upon "gut feelings" lead to the arrest of one." And at least in my jurisdiction, there's no way of tracking the inconvenience or indignity visited on the several citizens who were stopped, sniffed, searched, and told they were "free to go." In all my years talking to the Junior Chamber about pretext stops, this is a point I haven't got across. Maybe Ken could come out here and take my place on the panel next year:

"Of course, they are miles outside of the meaning of the constitution but they are the good guys so we'll let them get away with technicalities."

We might be just a few years from the time when the Supremes let cops tell juries their gut instinct as to the Defendant's guilt or innocence...

November 21, 2004

Local reviews

Blonde Justice ponders a blogging lawyer's dilemna:

"I've thought about whether or not I would want a client or D.A. to find my blog. (The answer is no, and that's why I try to keep my blog a little vague.) But I've never given any thought to finding a client's or D.A.'s blog. Well, tonight, it happened."

Well, that's something I might have contemplated before I typed up the story of losing my last trial in Idaho. Perhaps I should have contemplated it earlier still, before I began hiding in plain sight with this little blog. Writing an hour after the verdict did have its therapeutic benefits. However, I might have paused to remember that courthouse personnel can be a force for good or for mischief. Late last week, my hits from the domain increased exponentially, and first time visitors from Idaho's courts and law enforcement spiked too. My investigator coming in on Friday and chortling, "you're in trouble! you're in trouble!" was also a clue: the jig was up.

So now I'll spend my last week on the job making amends and excuses. For instance, I'll need to explain that "Donahue" was an old Ada County way of referring to a style of jury questioning en masse as opposed to one at a time; it does not mean that anyone in the courtroom was being compared to Phil Donahue. On the other hand, in Friday's inter-office mail I got a print-out of the infamous story with a post-it saying, "Can I have this autographed? - Snarky." The one individual to whom I meant to give offense appears to be the one who didn't take offense. I suppose being a narcotics detective means not expecting to feel the love from everybody, in that respect, not too different from being a public defender.

November 20, 2004

Azad Abdullah death penalty case: guilty

Yesterday a Boise jury found Azad Abdullah guilty of first-degree murder in the October 2003 death of his wife Angie. Abdullah was also convicted on five other counts of attempted murder, felony child endangerment and arson. Soon the jury will decide whether or not he gets the death penalty. It's the second capital punishment case to go to trial under Idaho's new law. Erick Virgil Hall was sentenced to death by an Ada County jury last month.

I've got to believe that the defense took this to trial because Ada County prosecutor Greg Bower wasn't offering anything short of a death sentence.

Fed 84: he's bad, he's nation-wide

This weekend, life is good for Federalist No. 84 of Crime and Federalism. His wife passed the bar, not the easiest thing to do in California. What's more, he's been raised to the pantheon of blawgers by He's in impressive company as a member of Blog Network, a showcase for seven attorneys who blog. As always, with great power comes great responsibility, so Fed 84's true identity has been revealed. Congratulations, Michael! Promise you'll still be posting dog and cat pictures from way up there, okay?

November 18, 2004

Justice delayed not necessarily justice denied

Last night a fine thing happen: an innocent man walked out of our county jail. A truly, indisputably, factually innocent man. This man was accused of robbery and spent the last four months in jail. Brody, Chris and Gwen of my office believed in him and stood by him, and prodded and pestered the other side to get the forensics done that would prove that the man was telling the truth. He Didn't Do It. Handwriting analysis - not a match. Fingerprint analysis - not a match. That cool FBI analysis that triangulates measurements of the suspect in the surveillance photos and compares them to those of the defendant - not a match, in fact, off by over four inches in height.

So, a toast to the persistence of my co-workers. And a toast to my honorable adversary, who saw the handwriting (and the other test results) and did justice by dropping the charges.

November 17, 2004

"I have never met a client that I didn't find something redeeming about"

Here's a p.d. who's a better person than me. No, not because she's a federal p.d. After what she's been through, if she can still say, "I have never met a client that I didn't find something redeeming about," she's truly amazing:

Five months ago, on a sun-soaked June morning, attorney Jane Kelly was jogging on a bike trail in Cedar Rapids when a stranger attacked her from behind. He dragged her to a creek and split her face open, leaving her semiconscious in a pool of blood, to be found 20 minutes later by passersby.

(F)ar from retreating from her often thankless, underpaid line of work, she's getting ready to return to it.

(T)he Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Drake Law School recognize someone who shows a commitment to the constitutional right to criminal defense. Kelly was this year's unanimous choice. Accepting the award, Kelly quipped that she can't remember a time when she didn't know how to make meth. And she's spent so much time in jail, she said, she should have enough time served for a couple of simple misdemeanors. "It's challenging, frustrating, infuriating and heartbreaking," she told the gathered lawyers about her work. "It's voyeuristic, but in the end it's real."

Coincidentally, out in San Diego it's alleged that another criminal defense attorney can't remember a time when he didn't know how to make meth, but I don't think he'll be getting any awards.

We're all in this together

David Neiwart at Orcinus has another well-written invitation to the Democratic Party and the 40% or so of us rural Red Staters to reconcile and reason together, with some charitable things to say about Idaho, our former governor Cecil Andrus, and the Blaine County D's up the road who raised hundreds of thousands for Kerry in one event without so much as a personal thank-you. He also linked to this line I can use in the future if I ever catch any Seattle attitude: "If you're gonna cop that attitude about people who live in red states, count me among the red staters. That's not just an abstract, Niemollerian stance: I have more in common with them than I do with most of you."

I think both writers would have liked my father-in-law Lloyd Walker, G d rest him, a son of a butcher and grandson of Blaine County hard-rock miners, who chaired the Idaho Democratic Party back in the glory days. Early on, he told our senator Frank Church to remember the average Idahoan and not tie himself too tightly to the Ivy League crowd (and to tweak your assumptions, my father-in-law was a graduate of Harvard College and HLS). A whole history of might-have-beens would be written if the lunch-bucket Democrats, the tree-huggers and the technocrats had held it together against the common foe. If the DLC types are serious about rebuilding the party, maybe they can listen to the West for a change. They could start by reading Orcinus.

November 16, 2004

A meth trial, with a snarky narc

Spent a day in jury trial, my last as an Idaho p.d. Does your state have these, one day felony jury trials? Picked a jury early in the a.m. Out here we do voir dire Donahue style, as a group, rather than the old-fashioned one venire-person at a time. Judge started jury selection, taking most of my good questions, then the prosecutor did her prosecutor thing. One standard fair and balanced prosecution question - "well, do any of you think that if we just legalized all drugs, then all of our problems with drugs would disappear?" - and a brave hand raised up. An older working guy, G d bless him, stated, "well, yes, I've seen too many families broken up when someone goes to prison, and mostly it's a victimless crime, and we need more treatment and less jail..." and on and on. This prompted a second hand up: "They should decriminalize marijuana." (this was a meth trial, but the thought's appreciated) Heads were starting to nod in agreement. Of course, none of the friendlies made it onto the jury, but while it lasted it was beautiful.

First state's witness was a state narc. Just happens that he was off-duty and at a garage sale when my client and his friend drove past very, very slowly, setting off the narc's Spidey Sense. My clients have all the luck, right? Narc turns out to be a classic running witness, and I'm spending half my time going, "objection, non-responsive, move to strike, I say whoa there", til he comes up with this gem of this-will-really-help-the-state's-case provocation: "The Defendant wasn't behaving in the way a member of the innocent motoring public would..." At that I'm off to the races, and once the jury's escorted out, six years' worth of appreciation for state narcs and their methods come pouring out. Hope they'll order the transcript when I'm gone. Mistrial denied, but it was liberating, that and knowing I will never have to face this guy in court again.

My client and his friend had the bad luck of stopping to meet another friend two doors down from where the narc was buying knick-knacks. That friend has the bad luck of coming out of his house and leaning into my client's car "in what based on my training and experience I observed to be a drug deal," speculated the narc. ("Overruled!") He climbed in, while the narc phoned dispatch for some uniformed assistance.

(We broke for lunch after the narc's testimony. During the break, I was told that the narc supposedly was overheard saying, "I hope I can get out to the desert today and shoot some coyotes." Made me glad that after he finished testifying, when the judge asked if he was excused, I said "subject to call." Somehow he didn't get recalled all day. Oh well. As the song says, "true men don't kill coyotes". Neither do men who haven't been released from their subpoenas.)

By contrast, after Detective Svengali comes the good cop, who certainly knows his shepherd from his malinois. I've always enjoyed K-9 cops and gotten along with them; something about working with dogs seems to keep them decent. This officer takes his non-human partner everywhere, so when the call came, man and dog were on the trail. My client then made some bad choices, like driving around the narc who was standing in the street badging him empathically, and driving away from the K-9 police cruiser with its overheads and sirens going. Furtive movements by my client were observed, a digging in the pants motion here, a hand moving toward the dash there. A previous bad choice had lost my client his driver's license, and here he was behind the wheel, so once he came to rest, the K-9 officer testified helpfully that he was identified "with his Idaho Department of Correction ID card." Jury's escorted out one more time, "mistrial!," "denied." And then comes the part where the German Shepherd finds the meth in the hole where the radio used to go, in the dashboard between the driver and the passenger...

If it was just a matter of equidistant meth, this would have been a fine constructive possession case. As it was, the trial took six and 1/2 hours. Jury deliberations took four: second place. Damn.

Law out of order: dog sniffs at large

Check out Ken Lammers for color commentary on the Supreme Court oral argument in the dog sniff-n-search case, Illinois v. Caballes.

Perhaps someone should have appointed a guardian ad litem to speak for the dogs.

November 15, 2004

Law and Order: Dog at Large

In the criminal justice system in the City of Billings, the public defenders represent two separate yet equally important groups: the humans, who are accused of crimes; and the canines, who bark too much.

These are their stories.

Andrea Lyon, public defender hero

If you're ever on trial for your life, Andrea Lyon is a good name to know. She can say proudly that she has saved the life of an innocent man. As a public defender for over thirteen years, she took some 130 homicide cases to trial, including over 30 potential death penalty cases. Now she directs the Center for Justice in Capital Cases at Depaul University.

I've benefited from Andrea Lyon's example and dedication in person two times. She directs the Clarence Darrow Death Penalty Defense College, one in-depth (and cheap!) week of CLE in Ann Arbor. She was also one of the best instructors at National Criminal Defense College, two intense (and cheap!) weeks of p.d. boot camp in Macon. The finest thing she taught me was by example. I'm a lawyer "of size." She is, too, and a confident and prosecutor-crushing one to boot. For a fat cat like me, it's really invigorating to meet a mentor who's large and in charge! She showed me how to stand tall in the courtroom and throw my whole weight into forming a bulwark between my clients and their accusers. "If you want to get my client, first you're gonna have to come through me" is not a bad motto for an XXXL p.d. Thank you, Andrea.

November 13, 2004

Smart clients, foolish choices

Tom Lincoln of Macondo Law and The Best Defense has a morality story about a bright client in a bad bind, scrambling to keep one step ahead of the system and digging himself in deeper with every step.

Many, many p.d.s will relate to this debacle: the huge potential sentence if convicted, the client burning through previous attorneys, the unexpectedly lenient offer that the client rejects by saying, shave two more years off that and I'll take it, the client's magical thinking that the state's witnesses suddenly will be filled with love and will refuse to testify against him, the hiring another attorney behind appointed counsel's back on the eve of trial...

Don't need to be a veterano to see how this story turns out.

November 12, 2004

P.D. freed in Florida, plus a quote about Alabama

The Orlando public defender who was jailed for contempt of court has been released after an appellate judge's order.

Thomas Mote said he was simply representing his clients vigorously in several cases. "I stand by my conduct. I feel that my actions were in advocacy of my clients," Mote said. "At no time did I ever intend to be disrespectful." Mote said he was "relieved and extremely thankful" to be free.

To Brother Mote goes the Public Defender Red Badge of Courage, with cluster. Salute!

"And so long as our essential protections are safe, it doesn't bother me if courts in Alabama have the Ten Commandments hanging in the lobby. If I ever find myself in an Alabama courthouse, I suspect the decor will be the least of my problems."

November 11, 2004

Friday cat photo

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The Honorable Bubba, age 15, named after the Honorable John C. "Bubba" Vehlow, magistrate judge.

Don't mess with your p.d.

Remember the guy who slashed his public defender with a razor blade in front of the jury?

He got 110 years to serve, and the State of Louisiana still isn't finished with him.

(Idaho fun fact: if you assault or batter "a justice, judge, magistrate, prosecuting attorney, public defender, peace officer, bailiff, marshal, sheriff, police officer, correctional officer, employee of the department of correction, employee of a private prison contractor while employed at a private correctional facility in the state of Idaho, employees of the department of water resources authorized to enforce the provisions of chapter 38, title 42, Idaho Code, jailer, parole officer, officer of the Idaho state police, fireman, social caseworkers or social work specialists of the department of health and welfare, employee of a state secure confinement facility for juveniles, employee of a juvenile detention facility, a teacher at a detention facility or a juvenile probation officer, emergency medical technician certified by the department of health and welfare, emergency medical technician-ambulance certified by the department of health and welfare, advanced emergency medical technician and EMT-paramedic certified by the state board of medicine, a member, employee or agent of the state tax commission, United States marshal, or federally commissioned law enforcement officer or their deputies or agents and the perpetrator knows or has reason to know of the victim's status," (whew!)

the penalty is doubled. So don't.)

November 10, 2004

One gets kudos, one gets jail

My p.d. brother in Pocatello, Idaho, David Martinez, spoke well for himself and the cause to the local TV station. How can he defend "those people"?:

"I go through the cards and look at some of the cards I've been sent by clients through the years that say, 'You've made a difference in my life' and 'I've turned it around and you're never going to see me in the system again, but I thought I would let you know that what you did meant something to me.'"

On the other end of the country, Thomas Mote, 28, a p.d. who was named public defender of the year last year in Osceola County, Florida is doing 10 days in jail for contempt of court.

I'm duly impressed by both these guys.

Leaving Idaho in the broad daylight

I've left Idaho a few times before, but never have I done it when it looked so right.
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Reflecting on the years since I've been back in Idaho, including the electoral event last Tuesday, and thinking on my long tormented relationship with home, I found this fine older article on Orcinus by David Neiwart, another Idahoan relocated to the Puget Sound. It begins:

"There's one thing about growing up in a place like Idaho: If you can't make friends with conservatives, you won't have many friends..."

As it goes on to make its point, I think, Well, I've made some friends! I told my wife the other night that I have a love-hate relationship with Idaho, and she came back with, "you don't love it!" She and my boy are the Idaho natives of the family; I had the bad fortune not to be brought to Idaho until I was almost 2, after being born in (horrors) Marin County, California, a fact that no true Idahoan will ever let me live down.

So let me go on record: I love my home state. I love the Sawtooths and the foothills. I love the way sagebrush in the desert smells after it rains. I love the horizons, the dirt roads, and the drives that are measured in hours, not miles. I love the stinky geothermal water that fills the hot springs and the radiators of the house where I grew up. I love the miles and miles of open range and public property, and all the critters therein. I love Redfish and the Salmon, so much that I've left instructions to dump my ashes there, so my molecules can make the grand tour from Stanley to the sea.
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Proud enough? Yet I'm moving the family to a Blue state. Loving my home, it makes me more blue, not less, that Idaho and I need to spend some time apart, but I think we might have irreconcilable differences. Doesn't mean I don't love it. I suppose I'm trading colleagues who read Ann Coulter's Treason and look at me funny, for colleagues who learn I'm from Idaho and look at me funny. At the same time as I'll miss Idaho, I'm really excited to be moving to Olympia, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are cloudy all day.

I may have been ruined for the current style of play by the old Idaho legislature, of all things. Back when I was a page, and later an intern, I watched the senators address each other as "the gentleman from 12" and "the lady from 32," even if 12 was no gentleman and 32 was no lady. The R's still called my team the "Democrat Party," but otherwise respect was paid, and friendships were maintained across the aisle. I owe my Idaho upbringing the habits of not whining when we lose or gloating when we win, of not expecting everyone to see things my way, of knowing that decent people will disagree, and of not vilifying opponents. I wish I could say that I'm confident my five-year-old would absorb the same lessons by growing up in Idaho as it is now, but I can't. But he will come back to spend lots of time here, and he will learn to appreciate and be proud of where he's from.
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(Bonus shout-out to colleagues in the South: after my wife pointed me to a scurrilous little website called "F*ck the South" (find it yourself), I thought back to the Southern spots that I love: Apalachicola, St. George Island, Panacea and Sopchoppy, Tally and P'cola, N.O., Memphis, Williamsburg, Peachtree City with the goofy golfcarts, Macon where I spent the two most formative weeks of my career. And I thought of my Southern colleagues in the p.d. and crim law realms, white and black, to whom I feel closer than to most East Coast and L.A. lawyers. Like the man said, "I say this to all of you who think it's funny and wise to say "f*ck the South." If you f*ck the South, you're f*cking yourselves." )

November 09, 2004

The kids are all right

Man, filling in at Juvy is a delight! Respect, no brow-beating, well-managed docket. The only downside was that it finished early enough that I had time to come back downtown and do the rest of my afternoon adult felonies.

The helping professionals at Juvy are so very nice, they all just want to help my office's clients, and of course they can't help my office's clients unless they've convicted them first. A regular juvy deputy of mine was told once, "your role is not to go to trial here, your role is to help the kids." And if it's "for the children," why not? Why, today Juvy was so full of loving kindness that they had more than enough to share with a poor little eight-year-old! And naturally, now that he's in the juvy system, they may never want to let him go!

(Sometimes I get such a kick out of my compassionate conservative neighbors. They talk a good game about individual freedom and families first, but when it comes down, the talk extends only about as far as their own kids. Their kids get the benefit of the doubt, and Those People's kids get Juvy and juvy records. Makes me nostalgic for the live-and-let-live Idaho of my youth, when a wayward teen with a twelve-pack might, if caught by a sheriff's deputy, be stood over with a flashlight while pouring out every last can of beer behind the Boise North stake center, then be ordered to go straight home. Or so I've been told.)

E-mail from one of my former juvy deputies!

If I was the quoted individual in your blog, what I remember being told was the absolutely brilliant "Your job is not to win. Your job is to do what is in the best interest of the child, and that is getting him help." When I later had a case dismissed on a technicality, she yelled "*ssh*le! Now she can't get the help she needs". I've always wanted to get the record on that case.

Einigkeit und recht und freiheit

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To the coolest historical event in my lifetime, happy anniversary.

November 08, 2004

How arraignments look from on high

The New York Times and the Times of London both drop in on public defenders doing arraignments in New York City, in Manhattan and the Bronx.

The P.D. in the Bronx observes,"The thing is, if this happened where I grew up, in the suburbs around Boston, then it would get dealt with in the principal’s office."

Which is exactly how I'll feel covering Juvy tomorrow.

November 04, 2004

Running on empty, then an unexpected refill

Thursdays are child protection days. Today it was 24 cases, 9:30 to 5:00 straight through, with 15 minutes for lunch.

The one glimmer of light: a woman got clean, got her kid back and got her case dismissed; the judge asked, "how does it feel?" and she said, "the sky's bluer and the grass is greener." I do the job for moments like that.

One rural Democrat salutes another

Yeomam Lawyer has a prescription for the rest of the party from out here in fly-over country, on abortion, on the Second Amendment, and on generally no longer treating us like we're the cast of Hee Haw. Read the comments too.

November 03, 2004

"Don't waste any time mourning - organize!"

Can I say I'm going to stand and fight when I'm moving from a Red state to a Blue state? Public defenders in particular tend to know a few things about losing a round or two and coming back to fight another day, but I am looking forward come January to living in a state that went for the Democrat:

My current home county voted Bush 71.70%, Kerry 23.54%.
My new home county went Bush 42.63%, Kerry 55.67%.

I'm discouraged, but I'm not despondent. Growing up as a Democrat in Idaho helps, I suppose, as does knowing that people I love - my evangelical sister-in-law, my Knights of Columbus brother, my co-workers and neighbors - voted for the other guy. This job helps, too. Whatever the next four years bring, it's comforting to know that I always have a band of brothers and sisters in the public defender and criminal defense bar - Republican or Democratic, it doesn't matter - who will stand guard for the accused and the Bill of Rights. It's gonna be a bumpy ride, but it's gonna be all right.

November 01, 2004

No court in Idaho today!

Be like Joe! See you at the polls.
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(and yes, that is a Catholic school uniform, and yes, Joe's parents are supporting the man on the sign, and no, no Opus-Dei-linking, General-R.-E.-Lee-sacralizing, silly-bowtie-wearing, Pope-Pius-IX-name-checking, neo-Confederate Federalist Society martinet has been deputized in my diocese to read us out of the Church for the way we vote. Ubi dubium, ibi libertas. Let freedom ring.)

(Had to get that out; Feddie's comments have been irritating me for months! See you at the Electoral College!)

How to get a job like mine

Current opening in the exciting field of public defender management. Meet interesting people, hear interesting stories. Ideal candidate will already possess body armor and helmet. Prior experience in cat herding, groveling, and choas theory desirable. Serious inquiries only.

(PDF file here)

Update: Review the instructional video on herding cats before you apply, here or here.