December 29, 2007

"Getting a headache"

It felt wrong somehow to let the old year pass without linking to one more public defender client rant. From Technomadic Packratt:

I've decided it might be a good idea to step back and look at what the cases I intend to file will be based on. So far, here's what I have: (any legal experts or hobbyists are more than welcomed to comment and/or give me some constructive criticism!)...

Case 5: Action Against Northwest Defenders (Public Defenders Group)

Part 1: Willful negligence on the part of the public defender for divulging information about my case to other individuals without my consent...

Part 2: Willful negligence on the part of the public defender when she continued to insist that I plead guilty...

I'm in Packratt's debt for suggesting a proper name for the sort of self-educated tormentor we encounter on the job: Legal Hobbyist. Perfect.


Packratt said...

Glad that you found at least found one thing of value to you from my story, I suppose.

Have a happy new year none the less. Hope the new one brings you fewer headaches.

Skelly said...

No worries: I found more than one thing of value in it. Hope the new year brings you fewer headaches too.

Packratt said...

Thank you for saying so, I truly appreciate it.

I wish you the best for the new year and thank you for introducing me to a great blog.

Malum said...

Lucky for Mr. Packrat there was video surveillance to help exonerate him. I read his story and what I find most alarming is that he believes that what he experienced was unusual or that out of the norm.

Its like his rose colored glasses, in which the police protect and serve and prosecutors seek justice not convictions was shattered when he was introduced to the reality of the criminal justice system.

I wonder what his opinion of how he was treated would have been prior to his arrest, if the knife wielder would have been treated like that.

I mean most of America believes that if you are in jail it's because your a criminal and if you are on trial its because you are guilty.

He has to remember that PD's are for the most part inexperienced, over-worked and carry caseloads in which all of their clients claim to be "innocent." I mean he didn't really suffer any injury at the hands of the PD's office. His PD gave him her legal opinion and he chose to hire his own attorney. had the right and he exercised.

His PD did inform him that she had not reviewed his file and can't be held accountable for not being ready, when there was no trail date even set.

There was an offer on the table and she took it to his client. It seems to me that Mr. Packrat is looking for vindication, someone to hold accountable for all the pain and loss he has suffered.

Unfortunately, you were the victim of mistaken identity and the you were the victim of society.

As for your children, they should be afraid of the police. You should also teach them that Samaritans are not appreciated by our society.

I hope he finds peace.


Packratt said...


Perhaps it's true that I'm more a victim of my own idealistic view of the world, even today it's hard for me to accept that this is how things are, that there is no real justice, just window dressing.

But, maybe it would help to understand what happened with my defense.

When the PD first took my case it was right before one of my court dates, arraignment I think, and she met with my wife and my boss and told them "he must have did it, he's so distinctive that the witnesses must be right. He better plead guilty." My wife asked her what in my case made her think that and she said, "I haven't had time to look at the case yet."

Before that point, my boss was ready to post bail himself, no loan, that's how much faith he had in me. After she said that it all changed and I spent another month in jail being tortured because of her uninformed opinion expressed to my boss without my permission.

When I was in jail, suffering my injuries without any treatement, my wife was busy making contacts with everyone she knew, and she knows a lot of people.

She found one person who was friends with someone in the prosecutor's office, this friend made inquiries and found out, a week into my incarceration, that nearly the entire prosecutor's officer knew I didn't do it, that I didn't fit the profile of a gang member and that there was evidence that showed I didn't do anything wrong. But the higher-ups wanted to keep the case going.

My PD kept insisting that I must have done it, that I must plead guilty or face 18 years, all while the prosecutor was expressing her doubts to the PD by saying things like "we don't want to go to trial with this one." After I insisted we go to trial right away.

It wasn't until nearly two months in that I finally had borrowed enough to hire a defense attorney that things changed, and changed fast.

The defense attorney called the prosecutor and she told him "I have problems with this case, I cannot take this case to court with a clear concience." My new lawyer replied "then you must drop the charges." She said "I want to but my supervisors won't let us."

Then he got a copy of that video, we looked at it together and we were aghast, there it was, no way they could continue. We scheduled a meeting with the prosecutor and detective and they said "we know you didn't do it, we know you're not in a gang, and we're sorry it took so long."

...and that was it, all charges were dropped a couple days later in court.

That's why I want to do something about how the PD handled the case. But if you guys think that's normal behaviour for a PD, then I'll have to take your word for it since you're the legal experts, not me.

In any case, still, thank you for the kind words and honest appraisal.