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Thanks, Assistant Public Defender Brian Jones, for breathing life into the Effective Assistance of Counsel guarantee

Aug 24, 2007 Thanks, Assistant Public Defender Brian Jones, for breathing life into the Effective Assistance of Counsel guarantee

Bill of Rights. (From the public domain.)

Attention all judges: Public defenders are not fungible products that are to be appointed as counsel on Tuesday to handle a trial the same day or the very next next day.

Praised be rather new Portage County, Ohio, Assistant Public Defender Brian Jones for telling the same to a trial judge, risking jail for it, and being held in contempt with a jail sentence as a result. Praised be Portage County Public Defender Dennis Lager for standing behind the actions of Mr. Jones, whose colleagues bailed him out after he stewed in a jail cell for five hours. 

Thanks to Arbitrary and Capricious, the NACDL, and everyone else who has been vilifying Municipal Court Judge John Plough’s plowing actions against attorney Jones, subsequent to having "threatened another public defender, Robin Bostick, with contempt when they clashed over how much time was necessary to prepare for a case."

The stories are many of public defender managers who do not back up their line attorneys in standing up against injustices. The light of day must be shined on them, as well as on the shining actions of Brian Jones and Dennis Lager. It will be an honor to buy them plenty of lagers when I meet them one day. Jon Katz.

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