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Editorial Comment


Tom’s response to DA Beeson’s attack on the public defenders

October 27, 2010
The Aspen Daily News claims the DA criticized the public defender as “frustrating the DA’s efforts” and suppressing evidence, and “representing criminals”. It states that he said they “did not serve the public” and represented “criminals at taxpayer expense”.

 

Assuming accuracy, I suggest strongly that Martin Beeson apologize to the public defenders, and the people, or resign.

I can praise Martin by remembering friendly engagements with him. I personally like him and respect aspects of the way he has performed. I would applaud his hires and concede that some of his deputies are engaging, bright, and honorable.

Remember, however, Deputy DA’s often lack life experience and judgment.

 

It is exactly because of that inexperience that the DA has to be noble, sagacious, and well-versed in the fundamentals of our estimable criminal justice system and provide appropriate leadership.

The quotes attributed to Martin Beeson fall dismally short of those ideals.

 

Martin became DA by opposing Colleen Truden, and honorably challenging her inept regime. Except for her, he was the least qualified DA in the last 30 years.

 

Unfortunately, there has been only one contested election with representatives from both major parties in that time. This will likely be the case again in 2012.

 

Sometimes in that atmosphere, you don’t get outstanding candidates. In fact, contrary to some popular belief, you don’t get people who want to serve the public so much as you can get political zealots and failed private practitioners.

 

They also urge fiscal conservatism, unless its their bailiwick.

”Cut budgets, unless it’s mine!”

 

The statement attributed to him is spectacularly ignorant and reflects an attitude toward the criminal justice system unworthy of a first-year law student, let alone a district attorney.

 

The DA’s function is to do justice. The quote suggests a stunning lack of basic understanding of the role of the defense and fundamental constitutional law. It rejects presumption of innocence, ignores proper criminal procedure, and misinterprets the 6th Amendment. It strongly suggests its author is not qualified to be a district attorney.

It falsely presumes that anyone defended by the public defender is a criminal. Even if true, it would suggest no defense should be provided to the indigent accused.

 

Since this DA loses a remarkable number of counts and cases. The assumption is refuted by definition.

What this means to the citizens of this jurisdiction is that you are more at risk of being charged with a crime in this jurisdiction, and being not guilty of that crime, than any I have seen.

 

If you believe you could never be prosecuted because of your blameless life, let me assure you that is no protection from wrongful or surprising prosecution.

 

Further, the quote on suppression overlooks the obvious legal reality that the court suppresses evidence, not the public defender.

 

If evidence is suppressed there has been a judicial determination that the DA was trying to use illegally obtained evidence, not that the defense erred.

 

Presumably this annoys Martin and he is transferring that annoyance to the public defender.

The DA is sworn to uphold the Constitution, not attack it.

Apologize or resign.

 

The News claims the DA criticized the public defender as “frustrating the DA’s efforts” and suppressing evidence, and “representing criminals”.

 

Assuming accuracy, I suggest strongly that Martin Beeson apologize to the public defenders, and the people, or resign.

I can praise Martin by remembering friendly engagements with him. I personally like him and respect aspects of the way he has performed. I would applaud his hires and concede that some of his deputies are engaging, bright, and honorable.

Remember, however, Deputy DA’s often lack life experience and judgment.

 

It is exactly because of that inexperience that the DA has to be noble, sagacious, and well-versed in the fundamentals of our estimable criminal justice system and provide appropriate leadership.

The quotes attributed to Martin Beeson fall dismally short of those ideals.

 

Martin became DA by opposing Colleen Truden, and honorably challenging her inept regime. Except for her, he was the least qualified DA in the last 30 years.

 

Unfortunately, there has been only one contested election with representatives from both major parties in that time. This will likely be the case again in 2012.

 

Sometimes in that atmosphere, you don’t get outstanding candidates. In fact, contrary to some popular belief, you don’t get people who want to serve the public so much as you can get political zealots and failed private practitioners.

They also urge fiscal conservatism, unless its their bailiwick.

 

“Cut budgets, unless it’s mine!”

 

The statement attributed to him is spectacularly ignorant and reflects an attitude toward the criminal justice system unworthy of a first-year law student, let alone a district attorney.

 

The DA’s function is to do justice. The quote suggests a stunning lack of basic understanding of the role of the defense and fundamental constitutional law. It rejects presumption of innocence, ignores proper criminal procedure, and misinterprets the 6th Amendment. It strongly suggests its author is not qualified to be a district attorney.

It falsely presumes that anyone defended by the public defender is a criminal. Even if true, it would suggest no defense should be provided to the indigent accused.

 

Since this DA loses a remarkable number of counts and cases. The assumption is refuted by definition.

What this means to the citizens of this jurisdiction is that you are more at risk of being charged with a crime in this jurisdiction, and being not guilty of that crime, than any I have seen.

 

If you believe you could never be prosecuted because of your blameless life, let me assure you that is no protection from wrongful or surprising prosecution.

 

Further, the quote on suppression overlooks the obvious legal reality that the court suppresses evidence, not the public defender.

 

If evidence is suppressed there has been a judicial determination that the DA was trying to use illegally obtained evidence, not that the defense erred.

 

Presumably this annoys Martin and he is transferring that annoyance to the public defender.

 

The DA is sworn to uphold the Constitution, not attack it.

 

Apologize or resign.




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