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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"Countdown to blastoff" Day 8: Life

When you go through something, it alters you. Whether good or bad, this journey called 'life' is an ever-changing "Choose your own adventure" story. One where you can't always go back and choose the other option. The following video breaks my heart. I thought I was having a bad day because I made it all the way to work with two different shoes on and had to go out and buy some new ones that were not in my budget.

I feel petty now.

In the midst of any complaints you may have for the day, stop and give a moment of silence for the unnecessary, early and tragic death of Kalief Browder. Then try to make today a good day for someone else.



Until next time,

Be blessed, be careful, never consent and never confess.

~LT

Monday, June 8, 2015

"Countdown to blast off" Day 15: SHOW UP!

There is a saying, I don't know where it comes from, that says something along the lines of "no matter what, get up, dress up, show up" or something like that. I received this link this morning from a senior attorney in our office

 

It is quite an interesting read and, after practicing in the South for over 5 years now, not a surprising one. What was surprising to me was my reaction to it. I was angry!

But not with the prosecutors.

One of my younger brothers, well into his 30's now, received a jury summons a few weeks ago at my mothers house. She told him about it, I told him about it, his girlfriend told him about it and then my mother told him about it again. The day for him to report for jury duty came and went. Not only did he not pick up the jury summons, but he didn't bother to show up for jury duty. How could he, he didn't know where he was supposed to go or when he was supposed to be there. And that pisses me off.

I have eagerly awaited the day I receive a jury summons in the mail. It could be the trial geek in me showing but I would LOVE to sit on a jury.* I have had 14 birth anniversaries since I turned 21 and I have yet to receive a jury summons. I have, however, sat at counsel table and looked out in the jury pool only to see that a good number of people have failed to respond to the summons. Most of them, black.



So why did this article make me mad at someone other than the prosecutors? Racist people are going to be racist. That is just the way things are until they change. But when you, Mr. Black & Mrs. Black Woman don't even bother to show up for jury duty-it's one less hurdle for the racist prosecutors to jump over in order to get their "pure" and perfect jury.

The article is interesting, the article is very real, but the actions in the article would probably be a lot less possible, if more of "us" got up, dressed up, and showed up for jury duty.

Until next time,
Be blessed, be careful, never consent and never confess.

~LT





*I would love to sit on a jury in the ideal case. The ideal case being one in which all attorney's involved actually know the rules of evidence, don't whine like babies when the judge rules against them, are civil towards one another and don't deliver opening statements or closing arguments that put you to sleep or make you want to gouge your eyes out. I'm sure that is why the Universe has not placed me on a jury yet.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Countdown to blast off

Well ladies and gents, it finally happened. I didn't think I would last a day as a Public Defender. Not only did I last a day, I lasted 3 years, 7 months and 2 days. My last day with the Public Defenders Office will be July 2, 2015. What will become of this blog, I don't know. I will still be a criminal defense attorney so in a way I would like to think that I will still be a public offender. I will see how the shoes fit in my new gig before I make a definite decision. I will say this much. It has been a HELL of a ride. I have learned way more than I ever knew I didn't know (say it slow, it will make sense). I have so many stories to tell and I know I have been neglectful in sharing this ride day for day with you. Before July 2nd my goal is to fill in some of the gaps so that my journey is more clear for those of you who care to learn about it.

With that being said: let the countdown begin!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Three years

Today is my three year anniversary with the public defender's office. The anniversary of my continued participation in the United States justice system, small as it may be, is a discouraging one.

I was always the first to pipe up and tell anyone willing to listen that I became an attorney to help people, I never expected to get rich because (let's just be honest) the careers where you can make a difference in someone's life AND make a great living are few and far between. Here lately though, I find myself wishing I would have just "chased the money." "But why?" you ask?

Well,

this, this, this, this, thisthis and this.

It is so disheartening, discouraging and scary to know that these things are happening. Any small victory I may have is only a drop of clean water in an ocean of oil and muck. I wish I could say it's just the police officers, but it isn't. I get tired of seeing the same names pop up on new files, I get tired of clients giving me excuses about WHY they committed their new offense, I get tired of prosecutors who think the solution is to lock up everyone and I get tired of feeling like my client will come out worse for the wear if they actually have a decent case and need to demand a trial. I am tired of phone calls from mothers and drop ins from girlfriends.

It breaks my heart that I am not as excited and gung-ho about my role in this machine called the "justice" system, but I'm not. I want off, I want out.

Sorry no roses and rainbows today folks.

Until next time,

Be blessed, be careful, never consent and never confess.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Moving on up....

https://www.blogger.com/%3Ca%20href=%22http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13212225/?claim=v7ccwg4xm46%22%3EFollow%20my%20blog%20with%20Bloglovin%3C/a%3E

....I am moving on up like the Jefferson's in the blogosphere. What I mean by that is I am committing to being more active with gathering readers/commentators/followers/minions.....lol


step one? Joining Bloglovin  if you have a blog, or just enjoy reading blogs, visit the site, sign up, find me and follow me.

Until next time,

well....you know.

Monday, November 10, 2014

How NOT to get arrested--Sex Offender

The first installment of 'how NOT to get arrested' was inspired by a man who handed me his business card the other day. While I applaud his entrepreneurial spirit and his willingness to go out and create a business opportunity since they are not knocking down his door, it is also cause for great concern.

What, prey tell, is this man's business? He is a handy man. His card indicates that there is no job too big or small. Whatever your needs, he can handle them. Electrical issues, plumbing problems, carpentry needs, back killing yard work to be done? Sit down, let your local handyman handle it all for a small fee.

The problem with that is he is a convicted sex offender. It does not matter the circumstances surrounding the underlying charge, the fact of the matter is-if he takes a 'job' that places him near a school, daycare, university, playground, park, children's center or any place frequented by kids, he is going to pick up a new felony.

I understand that job opportunities are tight out there for people WITHOUT a felony conviction, I cannot imagine how hard it is to find steady work, not only as a convicted felon but as a sex offender, but you have to find another way. All it takes is ONE person to be nosey, do some digging, realize who you are and call the police. Now you have another felony conviction and are one step closer to the system trying to throw you in prison for good. All because you are trying to work and support your family.

Are the sex offender registration notification act rules ridiculous? Absolutely. Are they impossible to comply with at all times? Sure. Does the law make it easier to live as a convicted murderer or spouse beater than as a 19 year old that make a stupid decision and decided to date a 16 year old? Yes, but until we get someone in power that is brave enough to say "hey, let's look at how some of these laws are affecting people's lives" it is a fight we are set up to lose. 

So my "How NOT to get arrested" tip for the day? If you are a convicted sex offender, do NOT pass out cards asking people to invite you into their homes. Especially across the street from a church daycare center.




Until next time,

Be blessed, be careful, don't consent and don't confess.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gracepoint

Tonight's episode of Gracepoint was a great example of why people should not just to conclusions when they hear that someone has been convicted of a sex offense.

Please check it out and really listen to Nick Nolte's characters story.

Gracepoint