Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Indigent criminal? Well, good luck, sucka!

Jesus. Even with all the problems surrounding indigent criminal defense in Virginia, where I do indigent defense, and Georgia, where I prosecuted, Louisiana's system seems positively barbaric.
A few facts about Louisiana's criminal justice system that might be helpful in putting the seriousness of this scandal into perspective:

• About 90 percent of criminal defendants in Louisiana are indigent.

• Louisiana only provides post-conviction legal aid in death penalty cases. Everyone else must either hire a lawyer, find a lawyer to handle their case pro bono, or handle the appeal themselves. Obviously, most have no choice but to opt for the latter.

One criminal defense lawyer in Louisiana told me that if you're convicted of murder in Louisiana and you're innocent, you're actually better off getting the death penalty. At least then you'll get a team of lawyers, investigators, and experts to help with your appeal.

Read it all.

Old Joe Biden, the everyman's Bullshitter....

Is Joe Biden qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? This is the familiar knock on Palin (which may be correct, although she's at least willing to acknowledge that she's got a lot to learn). Joe just says, well, whatever comes into his head at the time, regardless of whether it's correct, true, or even remotely close to accurate. It seems that he says things with greater authority, and, dare I say, gravitas, when he's got absolutely no idea what he's talking about.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Okay, so here's an explanation ...

of the current financial crisis. I still am trying to get my head around this situation, but it appears that although the MBS's have lost most of their value, the actual assets bundled into them are still paying off like a green grocer. What to do? It's an odd situation.