When my oldest nephew became a public defender in Miami, he made us all proud. Growing up a poor kid from a farming community not even big enough for a post office, his origins were Abe Lincoln-like. He zigzagged through life meandering into interesting places...from Hollywood to Costa Rica...while we watched and wondered where he'd land.
After law school and passing the bar a few times, he landed in Miami last year. Last night he emailed to say that his office was featured in the NYTimes last weekend, the story illustrated with a video about his friend. Arthur, his former colleague, quit his post in the public defenders office due to a staggering case load. My eyes glaze over when Arthur shows us the computer printout of his cases taped to his office wall.
A justice system that works under girds a democracy. When the public defenders have to say "NO MORE CASES" it is time to fix a system that isn't working. Do click over to watch the video or read the article here (I can't embed it, sorry). The short video is really worthwhile, informative and interesting.
What do you think about the state of justice for the poor in our nation?
And--to my sobrino, who occasionally checks out Border Explorer--"Gracias por todo tu trabajo para los pobres. Me siento orgullosa de ti."
[photo credit: NY Times. Arthur on the job for the public defenders office. Bless those guys!]