Public Defenders are assigned to individuals charged with a crime who have no legal representation. Working so closely with the courts, Public Defenders will often direct you to take a plea deal because past policies have led them to believe that a deal would be better than the results of a jury trial.
Often Public Defenders are portrayed as a part of the “problem” on cannabis cases in the past, but not anymore. The mentality that, by default “cannabis is criminal” is deeply ingrained in society for many decades through Reefer Madness and other historical propaganda. Now, people of all walks of life are capable of compassion and understanding where cannabis is concerned. Offer your Public Defender information about cannabis and offer them the opportunity to educate themselves on the matter. Public Defenders are often newly qualified attorneys overwhelmed with a huge caseload that leaves them with mere moments to spend with each of their clients. Working together with your public defender can benefit you both, and many others who should never become Cannabis POW’s.
Ask your Public Defender to visit our website and review the education & resources available. If you can, offer them THSI printed resources. If applicable, insist that your representative have an understanding of your state’s particular laws regarding Compassionate Medical Use. Review past successful court case strategies and arguments. Research the most recent court decisions pertaining to cannabis. See the Defendant’s Resource Guide for more information.
The jury pool or jurors available to report for duty will certainly affect the possible outcome of any criminal trial. If a large portion of any major demographic of people are unavailable for jury duty, their opinion is not properly represented in the justice system. In the interest of justice, any citizen arrested should be given a fair and speedy trial by a jury of their peers. That is only possible if the jurors called, report for duty. Justice relies on diversity in jurors. Lack of diversity in jurors will lead to imbalance. For example, race-related hate crimes were judged poorly after the civil war. There were several reported imbalances where all white juries permitted the freedom of white men who were clearly guilty of murdering a black man. Or in the reverse, took freedom from a black man for defending himself from harm leading to the death of his white attacker. This perversion of justice illustrates for us how important jury service really is. Jury service is a duty to our fellow man to preserve justice for all, not the select few.
For many today Jury Duty means missed income, daycare and travel arrangements, and other out of the ordinary burdens that complicate our already challenging lives. Others are so overwhelmed with the travesties of justice we see in the media that they don’t feel that their time would be well spent. So few realize that it is only through jury service that we can be the change we all want to see in the world today. Without diversity there will be no justice, make sure the pro-cannabis opinion is represented, vote your conscience, and be the solution.