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.

San Francisco Man Found Not Guilty of First Degree Murder

San Francisco, CA – Demetrius Hill, 20, was acquitted yesterday afternoon of first degree murder in connection with the May 3, 2008 shooting death of Ajason Black, 32, in the parking lot of the Buchanan YMCA on Geary Boulevard. Deputy Public Defender Mark Iverson, who represented Hill, successfully argued at trial that Hill had no […]

SF Public Defender Calls Supervisor’s Audit a Waste of Public Resources

San Francisco, CA – San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi on Thursday promised cooperation with Supervisor Sean Elsbernd’s call for an audit of the public defender’s office, but accused Elsbernd of engaging in petty retaliatory politics that are wasting valuable resources. “I think that this unnecessary audit will result in an incredible waste of staff […]

Ex-Gang Member, Intent on Reforming Life, Set Back by Gang Injunction Conviction

“There is no way for a single person to know the identity of every gang member in the Mission. How can we punish a person for standing with people he has no reason to believe he is prohibited from associating with?” said Deputy Public Defender Lopez.

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