Subj: Re: aligned with Republicans on some issues.?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Date: 3/4/01 9:25:20 AM Central Standard Time
From: John WorldPeace

In a message dated 3/4/01 3:21:24 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< Subj: aligned with Republicans on some issues.?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Date: 3/4/01 3:21:24 AM Central Standard Time

<<Aligned with Republicans on some issues.?!?!?!?!?!?!?>>

Yes. yes. yes.

I am a Democrat and I am for social equality but I know from personal experience as an attorney working in criminal law that even though people of color go to jail more often and for longer periods it is because they refuse to hire lawyers even in the most minor of crimes. The criminal courts are a dangerous place. It is an administrative place and not the defender of human rights that people perceive it to be.

If you allow a judge to appoint you a lawyer, you are stupid. The judge appoints lawyers that will move a case through the system. If a lawyer does not move the case through the system and tends to play F. Lee Bailey, then that attorney is not going to get any more appointments. You have the facade of justice in these situation. 

If you do not qualify for an appointed attorney and you do not hire your own but try to negotiate directly with the prosecutors, then you are at the least going to get a longer and harder sentence than you would have gotten had you hired an attorney. And generally the amount of money that it would take to hire that attorney is about 1/20 of the money you are going to lose by not being able to work as a result of being in jail.

The system is there and you do have rights but like everywhere else in this society, if you do not have money, then you had better stay out of trouble and stay away from trouble makers. 

Virtually everyone knows the old saying that "someone who represents himself has a fool for a client". There is no place this is more true and applicable than in the criminal courts.

So part of the Democratic platform is equal justice for the poor and people of color. And I believe this and support it. But in reality, in the criminal court house where the rubber meets the road, my position is closer to the Republican mindset that if you are in jail you belong there: either because you did the crime or because you decided not to hire a lawyer to speak for you. 

As governor, I do not intend to advocate a position of setting up a governmental bureaucracy of public defenders to drive up the social cost of law enforcement. I do not believe that people have the right to break the law and then expect the law to ignore it or the government to defend them. 

If you are accused of breaking the law, regardless of your social status, you had better find the money to hire a good attorney. If you commit a capital offense, then you have placed your life in jeopardy. 

It is more important for me to feel safe in my home and out in society than it is to worry about an indicted criminal's decision not to hire a lawyer. In the end, it is not a question of social justice but a matter of an individual's decision.

Thank you for your email,

John WorldPeace