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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.


This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Mockery of Justice for the Poor - The New York Times

"In the landmark case Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court held in 1963 that the state or local government had to provide a lawyer to any defendant facing prison time who could not afford his or her own. This was no minor decision. Approximately 80 percent of all state criminal defendants in the United States qualify for a government-provided lawyer.



Yet despite this constitutional guarantee, state and county spending on lawyers for the poor amounts to only $2.3 billion — barely 1 percent of the more than $200 billion governments spend annually on criminal justice.



Worse, since 1995, real spending on indigent defense has fallen, by 2 percent, even as the number of felony cases has risen by approximately 40 percent.



Not surprisingly, public defense finds itself starved of resources while facing impossible caseloads that mock the idea of justice for the poor.



In Fresno, Calif., for instance, public defenders have caseloads that are four times the recommended maximum of around 150. In Minnesota, one public defender followed by a reporter estimated that he had about 12 minutes to devote to each client that day. There is no way these lawyers can manage the cases being thrown at them.



In New Orleans, caseloads are so high that the parish’s public defender office has started to refuse to take cases, including murder cases. Public defender offices in other states, including Florida, Missouri, New York and Pennsylvania, have taken similar steps when caseloads have grown too heavy.



To make things worse, 43 states now require indigent defendants to pay at least a portion of their lawyers’ fees, even though these defendants are by definition indisputably poor.



The situation in South Dakota highlights the insanity of this. South Dakota charges a defendant $92 an hour for his public defender, owed no matter the outcome of the case. If a public defender spends 10 hours proving that her client is innocent, the defendant still owes the lawyer $920, even though he committed no crime and his arrest was a mistake.



Failure to pay is a crime. Someone who qualifies as indigent may be acquitted, only to be convicted of being too poor to pay for the legal services the Constitution requires the state to provide.



This is not justice."



A Mockery of Justice for the Poor - The New York Times