Thursday, November 29, 2007

Electing a public defender?

We haven't discussed the recent announcement by Bennett Brummer that he will be retiring and not seeking re-election next year as Miami's Public Defender. (Rumpole has been posting a bunch about it.)

What I find interesting about the state system is that Florida elects its public defenders. I think it's a bad idea to have elections for public defenders (and for judges).

First, how do people campaign for public defender? "I am a really good criminal defense lawyer and will free more criminal defendants than my opponent." I don't think that's going to be too successful.... They certainly can't run on the tough on crime platform. What if a prosecutor decides to run saying that if elected, he would assign the best defense attorneys to the few innocent clients and the rest will rightfully be convicted? Sounds ridiculous, but you see the point.

The federal system has it right -- the public defender should be appointed, based on merit. See, e.g., Kathy Williams.

Luckily, we have had a great Miami PD for the past 30 years in Brummer. It will be interesting to see how this election plays out.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why are you always in favor of taking power out of the hands of the people? The fact that we have free elections and the people get to choose those who govern them is the genius of our system.

Anonymous said...

Fake Hillary says . . .

TURN UP THE HEAT!

Anonymous said...

WTF David - You eliteest pig. Why shouldn't we be able to vote for a gringo like you, knowing full well that we are throwing the vote down the toilet? Appointments are for sissys.

The Commodore said...

Leave David alone. Why don't you start your own blog rather than anonymously post jabs at people that are only trying to initiate an interesting discussion? I wish I could get my hands on you! It would be 100 lashes on the yard arm and a salt water shower to follow.

Rumpole said...

Mr. Markus will soon be announcing office space available if the comments on my blog are to be believed.

Anonymous said...

markus wont run for pd. lw pay and wont feed his ego or his inflated sense of self

Anonymous said...

David is right. The appointment/merit system is far better. The average voter is too stupid to elect the right PD. The writers of the Federalist Papers were elitist pigs too. One issue I have heard one potential PD (not in Miami) run on is "I can do this job with less money than my opponent." Ya, that's great too! Also, with judges, compare the quality of state court judges to the federal judges. It's a joke.

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