Sunday, July 30, 2006

Request for New Links

Since I've been gone for so long, I realize that I am probably missing out on some of the new public defender/criminal justice blogs out there. If you know of some good ones that aren't currently linked on my site, please let me know. Self-pimping is acceptable, too--especially if you're willing to link me back!

Life After Exoneration

The Dallas Morning News tells the story of how Greg Wallis has been coping since being released from prison. Several months ago, one of my old colleagues was successful in exonerating Mr. Wallis after he had served 18 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. But that was just the beginning of a difficult process of trying to re-enter society--a society in which he is still a convicted rapist until the Governor can bother to act on his pardon request. How do you explain to potential employers that 18-year gap in your employment history? How many of them will be willing to take a chance on someone who was convicted of sexual assault--even if science now proves that he was innocent? And how does a man adjust to being free after living in an institution for over 18 years? These are just some of the issues facing men and women like Greg Wallis all across this country. It is easy for prosecutors and onlookers, when they see an exoneration like Wallis', to say that the "system worked." But, the system took 18 years of his life, and them spit him out into the world again to fend for himself.

If you are interested in helping those who have been released after a wrongful conviction, please contact the Life After Exoneration Program.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Just When I Thought I Was Out . . .

So, I thought I had given up on the whole blogging thing. But, here I am again. I just can't help myself. If you were one of my regular readers, I apologize for being gone for so long. I hope you check me out again. If you're new, welcome!

So, an update . . . I have a new job! Yay! Much faster than I had imagined, I landed a public defender position in my new state. Because I'm new, and because my clients are juveniles, I'm going to be staying away from current client "war stories," at least for a while. But, I still have a lot to say. For one thing, I have discovered that much of the criminal law and procedure in Texas is way more pro-defendant than it is in Washington. Not at all what I expected. That is definitely something I'll be posting more about. Another big issue is juvenile law in general. This is completely new to me, and it presents a lot of issues worthy of rants, and perhaps a few raves. So, expect some of that. And, of course, there is a ton of injustice related goings on around the country--and the world--to talk about. The Guantanamo tribunals, the insanity defense, and the potential impending death of the exclusionary rule are just a few of the things I'm dying to talk about.

Here we go again.