How A Public Defender Keeps Death (Sentences) At Bay

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2 Responses

  1. Law Monkey says:

    Great article. I’m glad to hear that the Philly PDs actually spend face time with their clients. I’ve heard a number of stories about PDs who barely know the facts of their clients’ cases, let alone anything about their clients themselves (not to be unfair to the majority of PDs – I’m sure most do a very impressive job in serving their clients.)

    I’m just curious – how frequently are you able to work with DAs who are willing to openly negotiate? It’s my impression (which may or may not be accurate) that many DAs are interested in advancing their interests (as is typical, generally, of the human condition).

    I’d be interested to hear how much of your work involves negotiating and deal-making with the opposing counsel.


  2. Eh Nonymous says:


    Terrifying comments – what the heck are we doing, by allowing incompetents who happen to be appointed counsel anywhere near our capital defendants?

    Why do we let such a large fraction – is it 2/3rds? – of members of society’s most despised vulnerable group – the accused murderer – fall into the hands of reckless, or negligent, or at least inadequately effective lawyers?

    I don’t fault the appointed lawyers for taking the case – but I do fault us as a society for letting them take the cases. If a thorough investigation would show that this defendant isn’t one of the worst of the worst – or that there are problems with the case – or that the cops cut corrners – then it should NOT NOT NOT be sloppy lawyering that puts their head back on the chopping block. Metaphorically of course.

    We should reserve the DP for the worst of the worst – and if anyone thinks differently, well, maybe you don’t hold life as real sacred. Kind of like some of the killers out there.