Missouri’s Lead Public Defender Assigns Governor to Case in Protest of Budget Cuts – Hit & Run : Reason.com


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I love this, although I do think he should hit other attorney’s as well, since the legal profession has considerable influence in politics.Report

    • Avatar Mo says:

      Can judges be drafted like this? Also, could this law run afoul of the 13th Amendment?Report

      • In the same way that mandatory jury duty can.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw says:

        According to the Governor, the public defender can’t draft an attorney like this, only a judge can. I suspect he’s right. The Missouri statute permits the judge to make an involuntary appointment only after performing the following steps:

        (1) Investigate the defendant’s financial status to verify that the defendant does not have the means to obtain counsel;

        (2) Provide each appointed lawyer, upon request, with an evidentiary hearing as to the propriety of the appointment, taking into consideration the lawyer’s right to earn a livelihood and be free from involuntary servitude. If the judge determines after the hearing that the appointment will cause any undue hardship to the lawyer, the judge shall appoint another lawyer; and

        (3) Determine whether the private counsel to be appointed possesses the necessary experience, education, and expertise in criminal defense to provide effective assistance of counsel.


  2. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    Let me guess, he’s running for office soon?Report

    • Why would you think that? Personally, I’d think that being in charge of a department that’s being deliberately run down would make this sort of public shaming almost irresistable.

      It’s lagniappe that by doing this he’s making it really difficult for the state to fire him.Report

    • Like most public defenders do. There’s nothing more appealing to the average voter than a platform of providing accused criminals with a vigorous defense.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter says:

        Partly this depends on what the “average” voter looks like and where he’s running, but more importantly, this puts his name out in front of the average person.

        This is a PR stunt, which isn’t to say he doesn’t believe in what he’s doing or he’d be unlikely to be a Public Defender to begin with.Report

  3. Avatar notme says:

    Silly, as if the governor was the only person responsible for the budget. I wonder if members of the legislature will be next?Report