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snackburros142 karma

I've been to Worcester, Mass. I don't blame him.

snackburros127 karma

What did the audition entail? I talked to another redditor who auditioned for him for something else and said it was pretty crazy. Did you have to seduce anyone like Sestosterone? Also, how uncomfortable were the sex scenes?

snackburros109 karma

I work for a public defender's (not in California) and I'm sure you know, but just for the sake of everyone else, we try to take as many cases to trial as possible if we think we have a reasonable chance of winning, but a lot of times we simply don't have a very good shot. There are a ton of reasons, but some of the reasons:

a. You already incriminated yourself beyond our help. This is like 75% of our clients. The adage of "don't talk to the cops, for god's sake don't talk to the cops without an attorney present" needs to be followed a lot more for us to have a shot at establishing an adequate defense, or we're fighting an uphill battle to begin with. Also, don't talk to your cellmate in jail, don't talk to your family on those phones about your case, don't do any of that. Last week I listened to 5 hours of recorded phone conversation that was a combination of light phone sex and a confession. It really takes the cards out of our hands when that happens, and about 75-80% of the time it happens.

b. To go to trial, it takes us prep time, because people don't like defense attorneys. The cops are wary of talking to us (not all attorneys do this, but at least the ones around me try to talk to EVERY possible witness and we anticipate EVERYTHING, including anything that can come into court). A lot of our clients are just adamant on moving it along. I know you have the right to a speedy trial, but it doesn't help you if we don't have time to talk to every witness, sometimes cajoling them into talking to us, to establish trust and rapport. This takes time. A lot of times they're hesitant, and sometimes weird shit happens. One of our best witnesses for an upcoming trial wound up in the hospital due to bronchitis unexpectedly the day after we talked to her. Do you still want us to proceed without her?

c. You have to help us out. This means no inconsistent stories (I don't really care if it's true or not, it's about whether it can be proven or not), no pretending to be incompetent, no constant changing of minds, no arguing with us when we visit over pointless things. We can explain things to you but if every 5 seconds you threaten with hiring private counsel, well, fine, I mean, we're people too, but threatening us makes us less prone to come and see you. I think the general guideline is that we're supposed to see our clients once a week but if you're going to freak out on me every time and we have to spend my time calming you down, we won't get anything done. We're on your side. The affidavits are frequently full of shit. We know. The police report is frequently inaccurate. The police frequently lie. We know. But you need to help us to help you.

Of course, there are other things. The general sentiment of snitches get stitches obviously doesn't help, and sometimes the case just isn't all that good, the police screw with evidence, there are widespread reports of crime labs falsifying lab results, I mean, cards are stacked against us. So a lot of times it's far more advantageous to plea instead of fighting cases to trial. If you want to fix things, fix the system first, and we'll follow by utilizing the trial system more. My boss said that back in the 70s when he started he's in trial every week. Now, not so much.

Although next 3 straight weeks I'm in trial, so I guess we're still fighting the good fight, or something, but it's frustrating when people think we're not working hard for them, because we are, but there's just so much crap stacked against us, we can only do what we can.

EDIT: Of course, and really we need to get rid of mandatory sentencing minimums to get the discretion out of prosecution's hands and into the judge's hands. It's absolutely amazing how much of the process is focused between us and prosecution instead of anything to do with the judge.

snackburros77 karma

God, I hate this sentiment. I'm at the PD's and we get a bad rap (this is a poorer county so we have a lot of clients), and people don't realize that we do the best job we can, but a lot of times there's simply no way of getting you out of your charges, private or public.

The great majority of cases get plea bargained out at some stage. I'm looking to go private after I get out of law school, but I think working at the PD's is one hell of an experience because these people are in court every day, and it's not a particularly thankful job.

And, you know, there are good ones and bad ones as in every line of work, just saying.

snackburros44 karma

Wow, fantastic, comprehensive answer. You don't see things like this very often on most IAmAs. As a law student I'm actually seriously pondering whether I should go into the public sector to provide grassroots legal services after I get out of school and pass the bar, and to hear that there are politicians who are behind these efforts and actively trying to expand these efforts is a real breath of fresh air. I think we need more definite answers from policymakers and whatnot, instead of rehashing the same buzzwords over and over again.