Apr 26, 2009

The kid is fascinated with me, what can I say? Miss Riley spent the afternoon with Mrs. Sneed yesterday, while her brother and parents were out having fun. ...The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he or she has the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says may be used against that person in court; the person must be clearly informed that he or she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning, and that, if he or she is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent him or her. From the US Supreme Court ruling in Miranda v. Arizona. or No accused may be deprived of his liberty as the result of any criminal prosecution, whether felony or misdemeanor, in which he was denied the assistance of counsel. US Supreme Court in ARGERSINGER v. HAMLIN, 407 U.S. 25 (1972) There was an article in the Hooterville Daily Dish, our local paper about the cost to the taxpayers of defending criminal defendants. The taxpayers picked up the tab for defending 93% of those charged with misdemeanor crimes in our county last year. Apparently, all defendants have to do is claim indigence and they get a public defender. No one checks, because in 99% of cases they would find that those who claim to be broke really are. Predictably, this has a lot of folks in our town in an uproar. Many people are not fully on board with the idea that defendants have the right to an attorney, whether they can pay for it or not. Nor have they admitted that those most likely to be charged, are those least likely to be able to pay for their own defense. Society pays for the police to arrest folks, lawyers to prosecute them, jailers to hold them for trial and judges and juries to try them. When it comes to paying to defend them, people get pissed. Go figure. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


R.L. Bourges said...

When I saw the photo and started reading, I thought you were informing Miss Riley you would NOT be badgered and beaten into writing your memoirs for her. Nor would you do a fiftieth round of funny faces without first taking your union break. I find that entirely reasonable, Merle.

On a more serious note, civil liberties are one of the late-comers on the human scene. It shows. Even in countries with a strong habeas corpus tradition, people easily slide into a mindset of "presumed guilty unless found innocent beyond every doubt'.

In France, where habeas corpus doesn't exist, people can be held in jail in 'preventive detainment' for years.

Clearly, none of the fine people in an uproar over paying for someone's counsel, have ever found themselves deprived of their freedom and unable to contact a lawyer.

(Or maybe these were the facts you were explaining to Miss Riley and held her mesmerized?)

Best to you and the young 'uns.

Barbara said...

Miss Riley, with her obvious absence of hair, is a bright spot amid the gloom of the rest of this post!

I've sometimes wondered if some people are actually committing crimes so they can be taken care of by society and at least be (relatively) safe and adequately fed for a stretch of time.

The question in legal care and health care is always how much society should do for those who can't pay. It's a tough one, especially for those of us who have never walked in those shoes.

Kurt said...

And a large number of them are encouraged to cut a deal, whether they are guilty or not, because there just aren't enough resources to try them all.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

based on the expression on ms. riley's face she's just as confused as the rest of us!!

sweetie!!!! I bet you and mrs. sneed had as much (if not more) fun as riley's brother and 'rents!

Catskill Snap said...

What a beautiful girl... and very alert. How soon before she starts telling you what to do?

Megan said...

Great photo!

Courtrooms are very interesting places...

Reya Mellicker said...

Riley is such a doll!

And yeah, go figure!