Home | About | Donate

Public Defender Meltdown in Louisiana


Public Defender Meltdown in Louisiana

Bill Quigley

Louisiana, which has the highest incarceration rate in the country, no longer provides public defenders to all its people accused of crimes; within months over half its public defender offices are expected to become insolvent.


This situation is intentional, despicable and inhumane. The question is how do we stop this travesty, not only in LA but in other places which are no doubt interested in emulating this cost saving procedure.


This a major reason why some 90 percent of peoples sent to prison over the past decade and more never had a trial.

They are poor and can not afford legal representation. The Public defenders are deliberately underfunded or are subjected to a conflict of interest.( as in paid from monies collected in the way of fines and the like from the accused. No fines no salary)

The State then coerces plea bargains from the accused by threats wherein the choice is go to trial and we throw you in prison and throw away they key or plead guilty and you get a year or two.

This is very much like confessions extracted by torture.(say you did it and we will stop cutting your fingers off).

US prisons are not filled with a quarter of the Worlds prison population because the US citizen prone to crime, they are filled with peoples whose only crime was they were poor.


...but there's always money for bombs and these days, upgrading the nuclear arsenal.

So long as "National Defense" is touted without any explanation for what it actually means, funds that should be retained for things like public defenders will be cannibalized by all those costly bombs being used to actually destroy lots of villages.


yes, agreed: it is unequivocally intentional, metastasizing.


This is unbelievable. I couldn't say it any better Siouxrose....this is a travesty of justice. I made some phone calls for a political candidate and someone I called said
"oh would you let someone who killed your family member have a trial?" I said yes, I would want that. They were entitled to a fair trial!" who would think that a denial of a fair trial is actually happening? This isn't facist?


Worse that not providing representation is the case load which means they have poor representation. This an plea bargaining (after charges greater than the crime) lead to many families locked permanently into poverty. In addition to anger - to a demand that quality representation is made available, we need to ask the question WHO PROFIT'S? There is big money in the prison industry - a man or woman with a record provides a lifetime of low wage work - the social problems which develop continue to fuel campaign contributions and the list goes on. YES, there is money to be made on human misery. Would there be convictions even with the best Public Defenders? Of course, but I keep waiting for someone to realize that addressing the problems and poverty which contributes these situations, giving living wages, creating stable homes, quality education and health care, and reform of our foolish "war on drugs" policy would create wealth. What an interesting idea - rather than on the public assistance roles, people become tax payers. The net gains and profit begins to flow into the community and everyone benefits not just the elite. Corporate profit purchasing elections is locking us into an endless supply of human misery. Vote for change. Feel the Bern...