Is SF privatizing legal defense for the poor?

The Public Defender’s Office is facing a budget cut of about $1.9 million at the same time as the Superior Court is budgeting an additional $1.2 million for handling cases that the public defender can’t. Is San Francisco trying to take all of the misdemeanor cases away from the PD’s office and give them to private defense lawyers?

California wants to cut legal aid attorneys for poor

AP: Public defenders, who already are stretched to the breaking point by huge caseloads and dwindling staff, face layoffs across the country. Nowhere is the threat more apparent than in California.

The real defenders of San Francisco values

San Francisco Bay Guardian, Politics blog: While Mayor Gavin Newsom gallivants around the country…other city leaders are doing the hard work of restoring San Francisco values. On Wednesday, there are two shining examples of this uphill battle that take place on opposite ends of Civic Center Plaza. First, SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi hosts “Justice Summit 2009: Defending the Public and the Constitution.

Justice summit taking place amid cuts to public defender’s office

San Francisco Examiner: A summit on the crucial role played by public defenders comes at a time of tension between the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and the mayor’s office.

California Selected for MacArthur Foundation Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network

California has been selected as one of four sites nationally to participate in the Models for Change Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network. The initiative, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is aimed at developing innovative solutions and strategies to better address the legal needs of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

Behavioral Health Court on KQED: Crime and the Mentally Ill

KQED’s “Forum,” with Michael Krasny, takes up the issue of the mentally ill in the criminal justice system. “Forum” looks at new programs designed to help police and the courts avoid dangerous confrontations with the mentally ill. These programs are designed to steer the mentally ill toward treatment, instead of a life of incarceration. Judge […]

Mentally Ill Man Pleads Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity

Omeed Aziz Popal, 30, pled not guilty by reason of insanity today at the Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant Street. Popal is facing attempted murder charges in connection with a series of alleged hit-and-run incidents that injured sixteen people in San Francisco on August 29, 2006.

Juvenile Justice Summit: Less Talk, More Action; SF Leaders and Residents Convene to Reduce Youth Violence in Schools and on Public Transportation

The Fifth Annual Juvenile Justice Summit: “Less Talk, More Action: Solutions for Safe Schools and Safe Streets,” will be held on Wednesday, May 14, 2008, at the San Francisco Public Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street. Hosted annually by the Public Defender’s Office since 2004, the summit will draw over 250 youth, parents and city leaders to discuss and pose solutions to juvenile justice issues both locally and statewide.

DNA Matches Aren’t Always a Lock

Genetic evidence is widely viewed as ironclad. In ‘cold hit’ cases, however, the truth is often elusive. San Francisco Deputy Public Defender Kwixuan H. Maloof defended John Puckett in his trial for murder. Puckett insisted he didn’t kill the victim. According to the defense, although DNA at the crime scene happened to match his, it belonged […]

Proposed laws cloak police misconduct

By Jeff Adachi Published in The Recorder, Friday, April 18, 2008 Following the California Supreme Court decision that barred the public from police disciplinary proceedings, Copley Press v. Superior Court, 39 Cal.4th 1272 (2006), lobbyists for police and sheriffs organizations have worked to convince state legislators to introduce new laws that would further shield law […]

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