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.

Being penny-wise and justice-foolish

San Francisco Chronicle op-ed: In the famous 1963 case of Gideon vs. Wainwright, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the state must provide lawyers for those charged with serious crimes who cannot afford them. The court recognized that “lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries” and that a fair trial was impossible without counsel for the defense.

S.F. Public Defender Is Taking a Principled Stand by Fighting Cuts

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi recently announced that his office will be compelled to refuse appointments in some major felony cases under a 25 percent budget cut proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors. Critics suggest that Adachi is being unreasonable and that he is not a “team player.” Adachi’s stand is principled, correct and cost effective for San Francisco County.

Budget Cuts Threaten Promise of Equal Justice

Budget cuts and soaring caseloads are pushing teetering public defender’s offices closer to the brink of collapse. However, after years of being under-resourced and overwhelmed, public defenders are finally pushing back.

Budget Cuts Will Break Gideon’s Promise

In the landmark 1963 case Gideon v. Wainwright, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a poor person accused of a crime is entitled to competent and effective legal representation. However, the current economic crisis, rising recession-related crime, and soaring unemployment rates threaten to erode this basic right, which is guaranteed by the U.S. and California constitutions.

San Francisco Public Defender’s Office to Receive Statewide Program of the Year Award

San Francisco – The California Public Defender’s Association announced that San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi will receive the organization’s annual Program of the Year award on Friday, April 17, 2009.  Adachi is receiving the award for his office’s innovative work though the “The Children of Incarcerated Parents” program, which provides assistance and services to […]

Seeking Formerly Incarcerated People for Reentry Council

Efforts currently coordinated by the Safe Communities Reentry Council and the San Francisco Reentry Council will be reorganized under the single umbrella of the new formalized Reentry Council and its Subcommittees. The first meeting of the New Reentry Council has been slated for Tuesday June 16.

Clean Slate Program 2007-2008 Evaluation Findings

The Clean Slate Program 2007-2008 evaluation examines how efficiently Clean Slate delivers services and the impacts that Clean Slate services have on clients’ lives. The Clean Slate Program extends legal advocacy beyond an arrest or disposition by the court so that clients may avail themselves of opportunities to “clean up” their criminal records, even decades after their criminal case is closed.

Innocent Man, Strip-Searched and Misidentified by Police, Acquitted of Drug Sales

San Francisco, CA – A San Francisco man, who was strip-searched and misidentified by police, was acquitted of drug sales in 70 minutes after his deputy public defender exposed the prosecution’s case as devoid of evidence of illegal activity. “The scary thing about this case is that what happened to my client could have happened […]

Study on Racial Disparity in Criminal Justice System Underscores Need for Effective Public Defenders

The need for a well-resourced and comprehensive public defense system was made evident in a study released yesterday by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) indicating that African Americans and Hispanics are over-represented in the criminal justice system and more likely to require a public defender than their Caucasian counterparts.

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