Monday, April 21, 2008

Critics of Harris County public defender remain in the shadows

The Houston Chronicle published a rather odd article on Sunday (April 20) regarding public defender systems titled "Public defender system has its critics," by Sara Viren - I say odd because, upon rereading it several times, I still can't tell who those critics are!

For example, we're told that "critics of public defender systems call them bureaucratic catastrophes." Really? We have several in Texas. Which of those do these unnamed "critics" view that way? Everyone named in the article spoke positively about PD offices. The only named person identified as a "critic" was actually a critic of the current system who complained that many court-appointed attorneys didn't visit their clients.

The article concludes that "many working the current system believe a public defender office — unless adequately funded — would make matters only worse." While I agree a PD office should be amply funded, I'd like to know who, exactly, is out there arguing that a PD office would "make matters worse." Judges? The DA's office? Attorneys presently taking court appointments? You can't really tell from this news story.

Related Grits posts:


Anonymous said...


Look again. The real oddity is that this article appeared alongside another, longer piece about the corrupt ties between HC public defenders and the judges who appoint them - especially in juvenile court cases.

Apparently a lot of juvies are railroaded into TYC as a result. The article makes it look pretty bad, and the opposition to establishing a real PD office seems related to these vested interests.

Bill Bush

kbp said...

Sorry Grits, I couldn't keep from posting my 'gutter' thoughts here.

Judge Walther:
Review the situations involving nursing mothers on a case-by-case basis.

Shari Pulliam, CPS:
Yes your Honor, I'll get CPS's in-house Texas Inspectors of Tits & Anti-Social Services crew (cka: TIT & ASS haters) over there to screen out ALL that abuse impregnated breast milk pronto.

Anonymous said...

How about the juvie cronyism in Harris County. i have seen this. Seen kids committed to TYC who really could have been maintained on probation, on lower charges, but truly were railroaded by their appointed houston attorneys.

these people should be in prison.

Anonymous said...

The railroading is not only children, but adults also. The Judges and DAs work with the Defense attorneys or actually intimidate them so they are ineffective so they Judges and DAs win no matter what they do to someone's life and their family.

I would like to see every Judge in Harris County removed from their bench and a new face and someone who care about lives replace them. There are a lot of female judges there who think they are queens of something, but actually are not worth their salt in fairness.