July 25, 2005

Tis pity she's a defendant

Dang, we p.d.'s don't even get respect from prostitutes:

(Sex workers)... picked up such practical tips as how to read a search warrant, how to have bail reduced and how to make sure a public defender actually defends them.

- from an article about "Whore College", held in San Francisco (of course).

Bonus verse: The article also quotes the excutive director of Standing Against Global Exploitation, Norma Hotaling, an old San Francisco surname. I think I learned this rhyme from my mom, who's a native of The City. It's about the 1906 earthquake:

If God had meant to smite the town
for being over-frisky,
Why did He burn His churches down
and spare Hotaling's Whiskey?

1 Comment:

FrenchKiss said...

I just came across this post from your archives via google while doing some research (I'll spare you the details). And I wanted to comment.

In the quote you cited, Carol Leigh is NOT being disrespectful of public defenders in general, as you suggest. She is merely suggesting that some of them care more about getting through their workload and completing your case than actually defending you.

Your Allegretti quote illustrates this point perfectly. He claims that the defense lawyers job is to prove that the defendant is "not just a social misfit, or a statistic, or a criminal" but rather a "human being...in need of repentance and redemption." He then goes on to ask "Will you stand by this person, this flawed and sinful human being, and speak a word on his behalf?"

This makes the assumption that all defendants are guilty, and the only decision the court needs to reach is the degree of culpability for the accused, and how severe the punishment should be.

If you included the quote from "The Lawyer's Calling" as an example of how the legal system should work, then I hope that you're one of those pretend lawyers we so often find on the web, and not a real public defender pushing through every case that lands on your desk as quickly as possible.

I know you guys have a heavy workload to get through, which is all the more reason to get rid of pointless laws criminalizing private behavior between consenting adults, such as prostitution. That way you'd have more time to commit to cases involving more serious crimes.