Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    August 25, 2013 8:00pm-8:31pm PDT

8:00 pm
trouble. >> trouble seemed to find gideon. literally small change had gone miss ing from this cigarette machine, maybe $5 total. that's the pool hall there on the bottom. some wine, some beer and a few bottles of coca-cola were gone. the witnesses saw gideon that night with pockets full of change. gideon found himself facing serious time in prison. >> i have no council >> why do you not have council? >> i would like someone to represent me. >> i would have to deny you request to a point you council in this case.
8:01 pm
>> gideon,000 this was unfair. >> by asking the court to appoint a lawyer, gideon thought he had the right to counsel. >> this right is a basic right to in in in the constitution because the threat that is presented by imprisonment and even execution is a threat that the government should allow to have. >> gideon had to represent himself because the state of florida denied a lawyer. the entire trial lasted a day before he was found guilty and sentenced to the maximum to 5 years. >> the last days end here walking into prison and doing his time. but this time he went to prison convinced he didn't
8:02 pm
belong there and the state of florida didn't give him a fair trial. he did what most people would do with insanitiary and fairy tales. he wrote to the supreme court of the united states. >> the supreme court they have cases brought to the court by people who are too poor who are able to pay for their fees. gideon's was a hand written document online prison stationery. you couldn't imagine a simpler more elementary way to get to the highest court in the land. >> why would the supreme court decide to hear the case of a poor man already in prison. because the constitution allows even a poor man to be heard. lightning strikes from the
8:03 pm
ground up. it may have been sparked by gideon but they were on the court's justice ready to catch it. >> he was the most influential person in the courtroom system of all time. people should not be disadvantaged in getting justice because they are poor. the judge was viable for the constitution. it had the best constitution in the world and if we were tolerant it would be all right. on the morning of march 18th, the decision was announced from the supreme court. they said justice black said i have an announcement the decision and opinion of the court gideon against -- vindication for 20 years of dissent from -- against brady. they said we were wrong when we designed it and now we are making it right. >> it was complete. not only
8:04 pm
did this belief in the 14th amendment, the court decide d in gideon's favor. this system which he fought for so long in the justice. the decision was law of the land. equal justice under law. >> when a supreme court decided the gideon case, they really brought light to that phrase. it doesn't matter if you are rich, it doesn't matter if you are poor, you get the same equal chance. >> just look at what happened to gideon. the supreme court didn't set gideon free but it gave him a fair trial with a competent attorney. >> not guilty.
8:05 pm
>> clarence earl gideon was a free man. the man who won a landmark supreme court case went to live a normal living with a job pumping gas. >> when i read where it says equal justice under law, i'm very inspired by that. i'm very comforted by that. but i know a lot of people are treated unfairly. i see it as something encouraging but i don't see it yet. >> it's written into constitution and established into the goal for society to reach for and live up to. people will fall short, rights can be ignored or even trampled.
8:06 pm
with nothing more than a pencil and knowledge. >> if you know your rights you can protect your rights. if you don't know your rights you can't. they will always be there. you can fight for them. that was gideon's story. he knew he had a right that was taken way from him and he fought to get it back. >> if you are wondering how it is they had a televised proceeding of the gideon trial they reenacted it on television and they had gideon and the judges play themselves. now i would like to you meet chris
8:07 pm
kearney, he's of the bar association of san francisco and a litigation partner which represents lawyers and accountants. he also represented a friend of mine. i will always be grateful for your work. our justice summit has been made possible by the bar association in san francisco. please join me in welcoming chris to the stage. >> thank you, jeff and great to see so many people here today. as jeff said i'm a partner at van ness and happy to the the president of the bar association this year. it's great to be here on this particular day with a great group of panelist talking about a very important subject. we are also proud at the bar
8:08 pm
association to partner with jeff's office to represent indigent clients and very proud of that relationship and committed to it going forward. this summit focused on the an verseey e anniversary of the gideon case. a promise and excitement following the united states supreme court decision has been a road trip marked by stoplight and heavy traffic. it was gideon's mutual trumpet, the new book that talks about the harsh reality of the system where public defenders have to
8:09 pm
handle thousands of cases in a course of a year. that's a tough reality whether it's 500 or a thousand cases. something that jim had an eye to handle more business litigation could not imagine handling and handling well. that's why this anniversary and events like this are so important. they remind us why court funding and why funding of public defenders is so critical and invite vital. these days there is too much worry about funding the judicial system and not enough worry about the cost for equal justice. this is the 50th anniversary of gideon, more articles are written, more gatherings like this and more than any that i can remember.
8:10 pm
maybe in california armed with a great public defender and with a like minded d.a., maybe we can begin to make the societal changes in a dent in a nation's shameful conference. last fall we did make some progress even at the ballot box which has been very difficult during this generation but prop 36 passed in the deeply embedded 3 strikes law. i also want to point out to this group even though the focus today is on public defenders in the criminal system, in san francisco we try to go even further than that. last year
8:11 pm
they were making san francisco the rights to civil council city, the city of gideon. there are civil cases, eviction cases, family law cases where the consequences, the results followed in court are almost as severe to what gideon faced and what people face in criminal cases. what we recognize at the outset of the supervisors proclamation is part inspirational, our leaders in the community have rallied around it and the bar association and our firms have taken on more conviction cases. later we'll be holding an event to thank people in these positions and so please stay tuned about that. in the meantime let's focus on gideon and the public defenders role. i would say if there is ever a
8:12 pm
time and place to turn the tied and to bring the &m music back to gideon's trumpet. we thank you and look forward to a great day. thank you. [ applause ] >> about a year-and-a-half go we saw one of the most dramatic shifts when the state took funding and reallocated to local and housing for state prisoners. our next speaker chief probation officers not only in san francisco but statewide. she's here to give us an update on what's happening. >> thank you, public defender
8:13 pm
inviting probation for being part of this summit. i apologize for my voice. i recently made it back with china, unfortunately my voice has not made it back yet. i'm very proud that our partnership in san francisco that we realize in transforming san francisco criminal justice system in one that uses science base, human approaches to help people change their lives which reduces recidivism and breaking the inter generational to
8:14 pm
return. we hope to transform the criminal justice system on a national basis and what we are learning is san francisco is going to help many other states in its jurisdiction to find other ways to serve justice and at the same time change lives and reduce recidivism. our counties realignment effort which means that if we have individual treatment plans, we look at the individual and create a case plan based upon his or her needs and not taking a one side approach as we know about the terrible result of the state prison system. the recidivism rate was 78 percent. i'm really happy to report that we have proven that the sky has not
8:15 pm
fallen since realignment. we have major results and i will share those stats with you. we have certain sanctions which included incarceration but also rewards for positive behavior and there is leaders in san francisco was in terms of a legal approach was -- ensuring that due process rights were under law these flashing incarceration. what it means we provided the court and public defenders and district attorney's and rpgs recommendation was not based on a punishment model but a behavior change model. the county created a stellar
8:16 pm
partnership in the district attorneys office to create a new plan and expanded also some of the social services that they were able to provide and partnered with the criminal justice team with the court and with probation to take a different approach. we also as part of our approach took over a third of the dollars that the county got and invested the money, talk about return on investment, $4 million into services. if people are going to change their lives, they need to have services that will help them change their lives. that is an important priority. other services have been public mental health, health and human services, housing and employment and economic development and we also have
8:17 pm
went into prisons, probation and started a reentry planning. we are talking about the results which has proved if you change your approach then you can improve the results and in san francisco, three years about before realignment and evidence base probation and sentencing we had over 7,000 individuals on probation, as a result we now currently have 5500 individuals under supervision and that includes all of this population that has been realigned in the state. instead of a 78 percent failure rate which is what parole has, probation has a 77 percent success rate, again changing the focus. the number of felony probationers who were revoked
8:18 pm
and sent to state prison, 3 years ago was 75 percent in 2009, and in 2012 we sent 65 individuals. of the 1310 felony probationers, 77 percent completed successfully and of the newly aligned positions, those are the ones that basically had had 78 percent failure rate. 65 percent have been in total compliance. no new law violations and 55 percent have had no arrest or sanctions or flashing incarceration. and they are reporting to probation for services. we have a wide array
8:19 pm
of community services for individuals that need assistance. but i think really what san francisco has done was continue to be a leader with the outstanding public defender and district attorneys office and the public probation and we can achieve justice and success and at the same time change lives. so i'm very thankful to be part of the criminal justice partnership in san francisco. it's an honor and we are not only leading the way in california but we are leading the way in the nation to change it's approach to serving justice. so thank you for an allowing me to speak. [ applause ] >> next it's a great honor to present supervisor cohen to present a proclamation to us. >> supervisor cohen represents
8:20 pm
the district 10. which includes bay view hunters point and hill. >> hey, everyone! good morning. how are my justice fighters doing out there? today is invigorating and enlighten you to make sure we have social justice everywhere. i represent bay view and porter hill. so today i really want to share with you in the celebration and recognition of the 50th anniversary, i'm going to ask you to come up here, jeff. look
8:21 pm
at him. this is amazing, everyone. but today is march 18, 2013. today marks the 50th anniversary united states court's decision that someone should be defended at no cost. where journalist and concerned citizens will gather at the san francisco public defenders 2013 justice summit on march 19 to discuss ways to better fulfill gideon's promise justice for all where clarence combid gideon convicted to be stealing change at a pool hall. he wrote a petition to the supreme court from his jail cell arguing that his rights had been violated. he presented a victory for
8:22 pm
civil rights and justice. san francisco one of the first cities in the united states to establish a public defenders office opened it's doors in 1921. whereas gideon's promise lives on in the san francisco public defenders office which service 25,000 indigent people every year. whereas city of the san francisco joined with the public defenders and the legal aid lawyers to celebrate the right to counsel. therefore be it resolved the san francisco -- march 18th as gideon versus wayne right day as acknowledgment for the 50 years of the united states landmark decision as well as the work of the public defenders who continue to fulfill the rights.
8:23 pm
[ applause ] >> thank you very much. i would like to thank the board of supervisors and the mayor's office as well. i would like to share with the public defenders. ken is here and as well as dave from the public defenders office. [ applause ] >> i'm sorry. ron from the santa clara's office. key note speaker. this came out yesterday on the anniversary. she's a contributing editor and writer at the washington magazine. her work has appeared in the nation, news day, new york times, mother jones,
8:24 pm
village boys, salon -- and author of two other books home fires burning, married to military for better or worse. she had traveled all over the country for a year-and-a-half to cover at the quality of the indigent today. she had to travel the count country to get here today. she came from maryland. we are very excited she's here. her well recent investigation shows inadequacy of our legal system. let's welcome her. [ applause ] >> hi, thanks for having me.
8:25 pm
i'm very excited to be here, if a bit sleepy. as he said, my new book was really an effort to take the temperature of public defense across the country and i visited a lot of public defenders offices, watched a lot of trials and discovered that there was a crisis in the court's that probably all of you are well aware of and really tried to dig in and find out what was going on and where all these problems were arising that we didn't have equal justice 50 years after gideon. what i would like to do is read a little section of the book first and talk for a few minutes and read a brief section. so, the section i'm going to read is in the conclusion because it's about public defenders in a conference i went to with public defenders
8:26 pm
since i thought there were probably quite a few of you in the audience, you might find it musing. i don't know. the national defenders association opened the conference in washington dc in 2011 addressed the crowd of 300 public defenders with a room with space for many more. does society demonize you? of course. do they suggest you are working for the wrong people? of course they do do they suggest you are work for thugs? of course they do but the work do you is vital and critical because it's rest to get justice on our legal system. his voice rose in volume and picked up speed and told the audience they ought to
8:27 pm
consider themselves as super heroes. it was an interesting observation. the public defenders and attorneys sprinkled in the hall that day were the designs of wrinkled clothes, no prada shoes. the man were the kind i had sat behind in too many courtrooms as a reporter over the years. worn tweed jackets and hair cuts that might have been sharp there months ago but now curled into collars of their blazers, no iron shirts. the women at the conference also wore their standard trial attire. the jacket that told them it was serious work though it came
8:28 pm
from marshals. the canvas book bags from barnes & noble. it was possible that shiny span dekz super powers. but it was a stretch. what die son was up to clearly was trying to rally the crowd to commitment to popular work. the losing cause, the rights of the indigent. this was a telling moment for me. indicative of a sense from every single person i spoke to at this national conference roughly 50 over the course of several days that good work was possible for public defenders across the nation but the greater context for which they labor order made it few in
8:29 pm
effort. attorneys left in a blaze of fury until they out after a few years. carol d -- is a public defenders office. 21 hardworking public defenders in new orleans are let go and greg bright, i'm going to read you an excerpt about his case. an attorney returned to england after several years of immersion in the program. after 30 years decided not to seek reelection. joseph ramon quit in frustration after trying his
8:30 pm
first death penalty case. is j ramon here? he's in the back. he actually, we talked afterwards a couple months. he works in a bar. he drinks a lot less as a bartender than as a public defender. in some ways dawson's speech has missed the mark. most of the public defenders are not particularly interested in being vigilante soup heroes. they want back ups thechl they want to work in the existing framework to protect the clients rights and they want the time and resources to do their jobs right without having to reduce to heroics. they needed more time with their clients if


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on