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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 11, 2013/ 8 Teves, 5774

Is justice only for those defendants who can pay for it?

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For years, I have been reporting on Stephen Bright, this nation's foremost defender, in and out of court, of Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court's 1963 decision that sought to guarantee "fair trials before impartial tribunals in which every defendant stands equal before the law."

Every defendant.

But as president and senior counsel of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Bright keeps demonstrating, in numerous cases, lectures and debates around the country, the pervasive injustice experienced by too many arrested defendants brought before our courts.

In the June 2013 edition of The Yale Law Journal, Bright, a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School, and Sia Sanneh, a senior fellow in residence at Yale Law School, used their own observations to explain how this pillar of America's rule of law has degenerated.

In fact, Bright and Sanneh pointed out that "the court also discussed equality before the law in another case decided on the same day as Gideon, reiterating its previous statement that 'there can be no equal justice' where the kind of justice a person gets 'depends on the amount of money he has'" ("Fifty Years of Defiance and Resistance After Gideon v. Wainwright," Bright and Sanneh, The Yale Law Journal, June 2013).

As you follow their indictment of our system of justice, keep in mind whether any of these gross distortions of the law are protested or even mentioned in state and federal political campaigns by candidates of either party -- or by those who yearn to be our president.



Consider, for instance, the contrasting resources of defense lawyers and prosecutors:

"The lawyer assigned to defend a poor person usually has little or no time and few resources to investigate the charges and mount a defense. ...

"Prosecutors have vast resources and immense power in conducting their inquests and dictating outcomes in the plea bargaining that resolves the overwhelming majority of cases. Governments maintain well-staffed offices specializing in the prosecution of cases. Prosecutors regularly appear in court, and many judges rely on their recommendations on issues ranging from pretrial release to sentencing. ... Prosecutors have access to law enforcement agencies to investigate cases and laboratories to conduct scientific tests and present expert testimony."

And dig this about every defendant who "stands equal before the law":

Prosecutors "have a power that no other litigant has: the ability to reward witnesses for providing information or testimony by granting immunity from prosecution, dismissing or reducing charges, or informing sentencing judges of cooperation."

And "they can place informants in the cells of defendants.

"On the other hand, in the overwhelming majority of criminal cases against poor defendants, the defense conducts no investigation whatsoever." This next one may disturb you somewhat:

"These vast prosecutorial powers and the ruthless use of them in plea bargaining and determining sentences were upheld by the Supreme Court in Bordenkircher v. Hayes.

"There, a prosecutor offered Paul Hayes a sentence of five years in prison for forging a check for $88.30 and warned Hayes that if he rejected the offer, the prosecutor would file repeat offender papers requiring a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. Hayes declined the offer, and the prosecutor carried out his threat, obtaining the mandatory life sentence.

"The Supreme Court upheld the prosecutor's actions, calling them part of the '"give-and-take" of plea bargaining.'"

Is this still America?

As for a defendant's right to counsel so that he or she may stand equal before the law, Bright and Sanneh proved the Supreme Court was at least right in the case it decided the same day as Gideon, arguing that "the kind of justice people receive depends very much on the amount of money they have.

"It determines whether they have counsel, when they obtain counsel, whether they have access to investigators and expert witnesses, and whether the representation provided is zealous or perfunctory."

Or worse. Citing previous cases and the work of nonprofit The Constitution Project, Bright and Sanneh wrote:

"Poor people accused of crimes, although entitled to counsel 'within a reasonable time' after 'the initiation of adversary judicial proceedings' may languish in jail for days, weeks or months after arrest without a lawyer. They do not receive the 'consultation, thoroughgoing investigation and preparation' that are 'vitally important' from the outset in a case.

"As a result, they may lose their jobs, homes, and means of transportation, even though the charges may later be dismissed ...

"An ABA (American Bar Association) report in 2004 reached 'the disturbing conclusion that thousands of persons are processed through America's courts every year either with no lawyer at all or with a lawyer who does not have the time, resources, or in some cases the inclination to provide effective representation.'"

And where we once were the land of the free and the home of the brave, "a national study in 2009 found that in misdemeanor cases -- which far outnumber felonies and which affect millions of people -- judges were encouraging defendants to plead guilty without counsel, prosecutors were talking directly with defendants and convincing them to plead guilty without counsel, defendants were discouraged from asking for counsel because of application fees for a public defender as high as $200, and defense lawyers usually had too many cases to provide competent representation."

Ah, but there is still some official humanity: "Fees for counsel may be waived in most states that have them, but defendants are often not told that the fee can be waived or that they have a right to a lawyer if they cannot afford one."

This system must be held up "to public examination until governments are shamed into providing the lawyers that are 'fundamental and essential' for fairness and justice."

How long has it been since government on any level in these cases felt ashamed about these injustices?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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