[Vision2020] Great News !!!!

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Thu Jun 18 04:40:53 PDT 2015

Idaho's definition of "sweeping it under the rug":  "Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and the members of his recently created Idaho Public Defense Commission . . . " 

Courtesy of today's (June 18, 2015) Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

A who’s who in public defense suit

BOISE — The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the state seeking to improve the public defense system in Idaho. Here are the key players:

The Plaintiffs

■ Naomi Morely said she was arrested in Ada County last year after she was badly injured in a single-car accident. She was charged with driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. Morely faces more than 15

years in prison, but said her attorney didn’t investigate the car or bother to review com- ments she made to police.

■ Jeremy Payne said he spent five months in jail but barely met with his attorney in that time. Their conversations totaled about a half-hour, and his lawyer hasn’t reviewed the evidence against him, he said. Payne faces drug charges in Payette County and faces seven years in prison if convicted.

■ Jason Sharp said he’s scheduled to go to trial next month to face burglary and grand theft charges in Shoshone County, but his public defender hasn’t filed any substantive motions on his behalf. He said he had to argue for his own bail reduction and hasn’t received copies of discovery documents despite repeated requests. If convicted, he faces 30 years in prison.

■ Tracy Tucker said he phoned his court-appointed lawyer unsuccessfully more than 50 times over the three months he spent in Bonner County Jail awaiting trial on domestic violence and attempted strangulation charges. He said he’s met with his lawyer for a total of 20 minutes over three visits, two of which happened in court. He faces 15 years in prison when he is sentenced in August.

The counties

Public defenders offices in Ada, Bonner and Payette counties didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press, but Lonnie Sparks, a Shoshone County public defender, said Sharp has been well represented.

“There are a lot of problems with public defense in Idaho, but Jason Sharp is probably the least sympathetic of any- body who wanted to complain,” Sparks said. “I actually went to his home with the discovery (documentation) so he could review it, and I went to his work with the discovery so he could review it. What more does he want with discovery, when I’ve put it in his face time after time?”

Still, Sparks said he appreciates the ACLU trying to improve things for public defenders in the state.

The defendants

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and the members of his recently created Idaho Public Defense Commission have been named as defendants. The Public Defense Commission, formed last year, has been asked to create standards, training programs and a data collection system and to keep lawmakers informed about any problems. The governor’s office and the commission’s executive director have declined to comment on the case, though the commission will discuss it during a meeting today. 


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares"
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

> On Jun 17, 2015, at 11:32 AM, Rosemary Huskey <donaldrose at cpcinternet.com> wrote:
> http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/06/17/3855823_aclu-sues-idaho-for-lack-of-action.html?rh=1
> I know attorneys who have waited years for this to happen and FINALLY progress will be made.  Public Defenders are my personal heroes and with a strong, professional state-wide support system (which they have needed and deserved for decades) they will be able to serve their clients and the community on an equitable bases.  I am pleased as punch about this.
> Rose Huskey
> =======================================================
> List services made available by First Step Internet,
> serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
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>          mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com
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