We have NORAD planes flying through the skies over New Orleans in exercises meant to keep our country safe from terrorists.
But we have no one within the city that can step up and protect us from terrorists and extortionists appointed and hired into essential city positions.
Yesterday , Chief Public Defender Derwyn Bunton announced that as a result of the City Council’s refusal to renew an appropriation, the public defender’s office would stop accepting murder and rape cases.
This announcement is tantamount to terrorism and extortion. The Public Defender office defends many kinds of cases. If there is a need to reduce the workload due to reduced funding, then the logical decision should be to stop accepting cases where the public is not placed in direct jeopardy if the offender is released due to lack of representation.
However, Mr. Bunton chooses to hold the citizens of the city hostage until he gets his way with cash. I hope he and his family have a safe room in their dwelling. If he goes through with this decision, we should all create “panic rooms”. A rampant criminal population has just been given license to maintain and even escalate their heinous behavior because chances are they won’t even reach the courtroom.
Maybe we should hold Mr. Bunton hostage. Work with your department to find a less dangerous solution to your funding problem or face immediate termination with loss of any retirement benefits and face possible prosecution for extortion.
What makes this even more like salt to a wound is that Mayor Nagin had just stated that the “citizens would suffer” if the council did not act appropriately on his budget proposal. How closely is Mr. Bunton associated with Mr. Nagin? I don’t want to start any rumors, but could Mr. Bunton have been coached by the Mayor in the tactics to use? After all, Nagin himself used the same tactics to get the garbage contracts ratified.
May I suggest that the public defender office stop representing repeat drunk drivers? Let them either find the money for an attorney or be required to place an expensive piece of machinery in their vehicle to monitor their alcohol level in order to be released due to lack of representation.
May I suggest that the public defender office stop representing first time drug offenders? Let the city institute an automatic 100 hours of community service for any first time drug offender in lieu of a trial. Even if they are innocent of the charges, it won’t hurt them to serve some community service time in a city sorely in need of it.
May I suggest the public defender office stop representing deadbeat dads who don’t pay child support? Statistics show that even after being ordered by a court to pay back support, most do not. Why waste our public defender’s time representing a defendant who has no intention of abiding by a court decision?
May I suggest that those who work in the public defender’s office search their consciences and decide if they can actually work for a department that will allow the most heinous criminals to be released over a funding dispute? If the answer is a resounding yes, then they should be the next ones looking for defense counsel for aiding and abetting a criminal.