|Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert|
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GreyWolfLord wrote:Indeed, this sounds like b%###$+@. Noone should have to wait that long for their case to be heard, and the "offer" of the public defender is insulting.Gaberlunzie wrote:this is so frakkin horrible. if you can, please consider donating to his defense fund (TW: Descriptions of rape, transphobia and extrajudicial imprisonment)
Whoa...I don't know what to say. That something like that blows my mind. That is perhaps the most horrible thing I've read in a while. You have the victim of a terribly violent crime being the one put in prison...that is absolutely horrible.
I would hope that the people of the community would rise up and shout down such injustice, but apparently no one did. That is absolutely horrible to have happen.
A lot of it is that, in some areas, the public defender is working between 300 and 1200 cases per year. Average turnover time is within 12 months, and public defenders tend to be working their first job as a lawyer, so the average public defender is very inexperienced. Throw on that massive caseload, and you have a situation where the lawyer isn't just new, but way overworked. Also, maybe 10%-5% of people charged are actually going to see trial, and even then it takes over a year to get a lot of people into a courtroom because the system is so massively backlogged. If 90%-95% of defendants didn't plead out, the system would literally collapse under the pressure. It can't handle trying even 20% of cases. All of this means that the public defender is probably green and scared and doesn't know what to do and is juggling a completely overwhelming load of clients at the moment, the prosecution is pressing hard to plead the case out, and the court can't get him in for trial for over a year. Plus, the defendant is black. That right there means a jury is more likely to convict and a judge is likely to give a harsher sentence. Read for more. Just be aware that Cracked is an entertainment network first and foremost.
All of that said, I would like to point out that the kid is going to serve out the full term for this. Far as I can dig up, under Georgia state law the requirements necessary to file an appeal are not met in this case (The DA's office would have to have acted illegally, which it did not [immoral behavior doesn't count, and even if their behavior should be unconstitutional it is not recognized as such at the moment, and this just isn't a case that would sway SCOTUS to rule otherwise], the police would have to have acted illegally [if they did, you aren't going to be able to get a court to actually acknowledge it, so this option is dead in the water], or evidence not submitted to the court would have to exist that casts serious doubt as to the verdict [there is no reason to believe such evidence exists]. The fact that there is a guilty plea also makes an appeal astronomically harder to get if one of those three conditions is met.). An appeal just isn't going to happen. It is important to note that there is nothing in the Constitution of the US or any state Constitution I know of that entitles anyone to an appeal, except in the case of capital crimes. From a legal point of view, getting an appeal is a privilege, not a right. All of that aside, the sentence of 15 to 20 years is higher than the minimum sentence for Involuntary Manslaughter in Georgia. Under Georgia state law, that means the defendant is ineligible for early release, such as parole, and has to serve out every single day of the 15 years. A pardon is necessary, but there is no way that is happening, because the political backlash is something the Governor does not want. Since this is a state offense, Obama cannot legally issue a pardon.
To sum, this battle is already lost. Kid is not getting an appeal, is not getting the conviction overturned, is not getting pardoned, and this is going to continue happening to other people. We've fought this exact battle thousands of times, and win barely a fraction of a percent of the time. This one just doesn't look like a winner, even though the victim was most likely justified under Georgia self defense laws.