posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 08:14 AM
reply to post by Chickensalad
As a law student, I can agree with this. I have seen the case loads of public defenders, and the way in which charges are brought against people, the
goal being to get the Defendant to make a plea deal. Only 10% of all charges are ever brought to trial due to plea deals. There is an argument
regarding this tactic though, even among professionals. However, just like all portions of society at our current stage it seems less and less
attention is given to the arguments of the indigent, and more procedures are erected to assist the legal mechanism to continue to function. More
powers are given to courts, and less and less time is given to each case.
This issue cannot be summed up with just a single reflection on a specific way of doing business in our legal system. The issue involves a gross
cross-section of legal policy that intersects in such a way that binds the indigent to a substandard form of justice. While we have long ago
recognized the right for indigent Defendants to obtain a lawyer at the public's cost, the public attorneys are under an obligation to attempt to plea
deal to reduce the overall cost to the tax payer. Some states do not have public defenders so they contract out this function to local criminal
defense attorneys, albeit at a set rate which requires the attorney to handle the case by only doing what is necessary to defend. A private attorney
however, might attempt many novel legal theories and test these all the way to the Supreme Court and get their client off on a technicality.
There is also the issue of social justices. Attorneys are the vassal through which common folks obtain justice, be it from private parties or
corporate, or government outlets. Outside of only a few states, all attorneys are required to attend an American Bar Association school, which
physical locations are set in stone literally. This requires potential attorneys to have to pick up and move to a specific area to attend, and
generally cost upwards of $30,000 on the very low end per year to attend. Most of the people who have this kind of money are in fact wealthy
individuals or students who obtained student loans sufficient to cover not only their tuition and books but the cost of living as well. These students
then go on to practice law, but must pay off their debt and also secure a living style as an attorney.
When attorneys charge $250 + an hour, how in the world will any working class person afford such rates? 2-weeks of work for an attorney at 50 hours if
they worked continually would net an attorney $25,000 which is equivalent of most lower economic class income for an entire year. This pattern needs
to be offset somehow. Social injustices occur not only by crimes committed, but by the lack of representation of indigents in other areas of the
social spectrum. If an indigent person gets laid off, what help is there for them if they believe they were laid off only due to their age? If a
landlord evicts an indigent, what attorney will help for very little money? If an indigent cannot resolve a dispute with a neighbor in a legitimate
and legal way, what attorney will step up to help? The ability to address social issues through legal mechanisms would greatly assist the lower
economic class avoid participating in crime to begin with. If those people feel like they have some sort of power, some sort of legal mechanism to
assist, I believe they would be less inclined to take matters into their own hands and commit crimes.