Thursday, May 29, 2008

Can We Go Back?

Brian's Blog has been informed and we are attempting to confirm this. But, on June 10, 2008 all 5 Knox County General Sessions Judges will sit together and hear the petition from Knox County Public Defender Mark Stephens on his motion to remove his staff from defense of misdemeanor warrants.

Why is this motion necessary?

The cost of indigent defense has increased over 300%.

The Public Defender has been provided with a $2.7 million dollar separate office building, while the District Attorney General is still operating out of the same office space afforded to his staff on the day the City - County Building opened.

Brian's Blog has been informed that only 20% of court cost are collected by the indigent. Thus, resulting in the accused (criminals) "having no skin in the game." If they were required to pay a small fee every two weeks or a month to retire their court cost then they would think differently about their actions.

Brian's Blog has learned that the Public Defender recently appeared to ensure that he represents the accused in a couple of murder cases. Does the Public Defender have it all wrong? How many misdemeanor cases could he represent over an accused murderer or two?

In our community we need a discussion about how we can go back to the old system. Where lawyers were appointed to represent the indigent. It was a great system for keeping good lawyers busy and providing them exposure to the courts. Now the Public Defender hires in attorneys (young and seasoned) and they become government bureaucrats. They either stay in the bureaucracy or they ultimately venture out to join the defense bar.

One of the problems is that jail has NOT become enough of a deterrent to stop or curb illegal activity.

In the near future, I plan to contact Mark Stephens, our Knox County Public Defender to get any information that he will provide Brian's Blog for our current system and reaction to his thoughts on returning back to the system that was in place as recently as 1990.

We will report back.

For the record. Brian Hornback has been a loyal supporter of Mark Stephens. Having volunteered for his campaign in 1990, his re-election in 1998 and was honored to be Knox County Republican Party Chairman when he was re-elected again in 2006. Mark's family and his extended family "are the salt of the earth." This is not an attack on Mark, his staff or anything that you conspiracy theorist would like to thank that it is. It is a thought for discussion. If the facts can back up, our new current system, we at Brian's Blog will support it. If this change resulted "in throwing the baby out with the bath water" than let's discuss moving back.

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