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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Orleans acknowledges failure to clients - What about Milwaukee's Public Defender's Office?

Chief NOLA Public Defender Derwyn Bunton

A lawyer poorly resourced can cause irreparable harm to a client,” says Chief NOLA Public Defender Derwyn Bunton.
New Orleans' chief public defender tells Anderson Cooper that until he can ensure every client gets the defense they deserve, he’ll continue to turn cases away

Nine current and former New Orleans public defenders admit they do not have the time or the budget to adequately represent every client.


  • How do 50 lawyers handle 22,000 cases? They can’t. New Orleans public defenders say the criminal justice system needs urgent reform.
  • New Orleans public defenders admit they’ve not been able to adequately represent all their clients and innocent people have gone to 

“You do your best, but a lot of times you can’t provide the kind of representation that the Constitution, our code of ethics and professional standards would have you provide.” Derwyn Bunton


All of the attorneys acknowledged that they have clients in prison due to lack of legal services.

One of the attorneys resigned and spoke of how she the attorney "evolved to NORMALIZING" her "lack of customer service" to her clients.

Attorney Lindsay Samuel: You know feeling like you’re always coming up short. Um, you know, the first 1,000 clients, you feel terrible. 
The second 1,000 clients, you feel awful. 
The third 1,000, 3,000 in, it doesn’t feel so bad anymore. 

One morning I woke up and I just felt like, “I’m not even angry about this anymore.” It’s just every day to me. 

Every day my clients are going away for a decade. And I just move along to the next client.


Silence is NOT an Option
WISCONSIN has the HIGHEST Incarceration system in America.
Our numbers are so high we commission other STATES for housing.

African American and Latino citizenry make up the largest population in Wisconsin.

Truth & Sentencing came about during the year 2000.
It was "the doings" of Caucasian lawmakers, elected officials, legislators, attorneys, judges, and the association of lawyers.

I remember two individuals being at the lead table, they were: 
*  Judge Diane Sykes 
*  Ex- Milwaukee County                        District Attorney 
     E. Michael McCann

I wonder how many folks have been incarcerated and rights destroyed in Milwaukee due to irreparable harm caused by LACK OF APPROPRIATE LEGAL REPRESENTATION as in New Orleans.

Also, due to laws such as Truth in Sentencing.
How many became "trapped" in the worrisome Industrial Complex and misused address of marijuana.

Incarceration by any means WITH no OVERSIGHT.

We know that the leaders who should be leading the CAUSE of JUSTICE are SILENT.

I am appreciative that Chief New Orleans, Louisiana Public Defender Derwyn Bunton has stepped up and taken the first step. He opened the door wide while speaking with Journalist Anderson Cooper, CBS 60 Minutes and bringing attention to the problem and taking action for step ONE.

MILWAUKEE has a zip code, 53206, reported with the highest number of citizens that have been incarcerated.

There is nothing in public policies from our legislators, judges, attorneys, health and human services and civil rights groups that have looked at what Incarceration and Truth in Sentencing have done to generations of African American and Latino families. Nothing is seen to date to deter the use of drugs or the effects that are a byproduct of the use of drugs for African American and Latino citizenry - the issue that was the main reason for Incarceration and Truth in Sentencing.

What we are seeing is "ways and means" coming from Caucasian citizens in rural and predominately Caucasian neighborhoods for HELP due to the growing and a staggering number of Caucasians dying of Opioid overdoses.

In fact, Scott Walker, Wisconsin Governor with his executive order, Walker is essentially saying "I've got some ideas for you."
"There`s a lot of time for members, in general, to focus on a legislative agenda. This is a legislative agenda," Governor Walker said.   MORE.
At the Root Cause, the Point of Entry to an out-of-control judicial system, we have arbitrary and capricious public policies (laws and patterns of street enforcement (police and sheriff offices), the theater in the district attorney's office, deficiencies of public defenders, biases and public influences for judges, laws that do not fit the crime (NON-CRIME) and discrimination.

We have individuals in the judicial system that need oversight, ongoing training, scrutiny by the electorates and some removed.

We have complacency.
We have ex- district attorneys and public defender's that retire to JUDGESHIP.  Ill-prepared and given too free rein.  They learn at the peril of the citizens that come before them.

We have the attorneys' bar association lacking People of Color.
And,  too often detached from those they render judgments.

We have an ugly backdrop of DISCRIMINATION abundant in our environments of elected-appointed-hired and donor for hire government representation.

60 Minutes
I draw the attention of Change to the "trial" and "appeal" offices of the Wisconsin State Public Defender's office and the Milwaukee Public Defender's office:
  • Attorney Kelli Thompson - State Public Defender
  • Attorney Michael Tobin    - Deputy State Public Defender
  • Attorney Jennifer Bias      - Trial Division Director
  • Attorney Adam Plotkin     - Legislative Liaison
  • Attorney Gina Pruski        - Training Director
  • Attorney Jeremy Perri      - Appellate Division Director
  • Attorney Tom Webb          - Trial Division Milwaukee
  • Attorney Colleen Ball        - Local Attorney Manager 

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