There was an expression I saw in some paper or another and the more it rolls over in my mind is the greater the impact because in its simplicity is the scope and elegance: “The guardians of the hen house have become the foxes that they are supposed to protect us against.” This is true of our legislatures, criminal justice complex as well as big business.”
The Wall Street Journal has an excellent and easily read article on a recent Supreme Court decision regarding the plea bargain process and effective representation. Bear in mind that this is a Supreme Court decision which in effect makes it the law of the land.
The implications are big because over 90 percent of the guilty convictions are a result of plea bargains. Now think in terms of over one million men, women and children that are in jail or prison because of plea bargains. There is a deeper and far more devastating consequence in that the traditionally over burdened and understaffed public defenders, in spite of their best efforts are great targets for this ‘ineffective representation.’
Anyone that knows someone in prison would be well served to advise them of the scope of this decision and let them determine for themselves if they fit into this category.
What will be even more interesting and is a chapter yet to be written is: will this become a basis for expongement of records and convictions relating to a felony.