“Routinely pushing my clients to the back of the bus is unacceptable”Defendants who can afford to hire a private attorney get their cases heard first in some courtrooms while the poor with public defenders must wait, says Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein.
“A judge’s practice of calling public-defender cases last signifies to our clients that the judge sees them as less important than private attorney clients and that their lawyer is not respected,” Finkelstein wrote. “Routinely pushing my clients to the back of the bus is unacceptable.”
Read the report by Sun-Sentinel columnist Buddy Nevins here.
This isn’t the first time Finkelstein has rocked the boat. Back in June, he put an end to a practice called “meet ‘em, greet ‘em and plead ‘em,” forbidding his attorneys from advising indigent criminal defendants to plead guilty at arraignment unless they’ve had “meaningful contact” with their clients in advance. See previous post here.
Thanks to Indefensible for the link.