Wednesday, June 4, 2014

...but he seemed so helpful!

Waco, TX, has found a way to reduce the cost of indigent defense. They worried that applicants were falsifying information when requesting a public defender, so now they investigate to make sure the requester is genuinely indigent.
They send a cop to the homes of defendants seeking to apply for the public defender and have him interview and investigate them.
In fact, there’s such a problem with falsifying information on applications, that a whopping 2 people have been arrested since November.

When put in perspective, you begin to see why Edwards has seen a drop in applications. It might have to do with the fact that people don’t want a police officer coming into their homes and asking them questions.
The a public defender blog quotes the Waco Tribune so we can see what else came of investigating financial circumstances of the applicants:
Carrizales said he has made more than 20 arrests simply from following up with applicants at their homes and finding fugitives with outstanding warrants.

Colyer said the sheriff’s office expected the additional arrests because the investigation of one crime often leads to the discovery of other offenses.
Sure, the investigation of one crime can lead to the discovery of other offenses but this sheriff's detective isn't investigating a crime, he is investigating finances...or so he says when he knocks at the applicant's door.

Poor people who need a public defender may not be able to afford to let this investigator in their homes.


Melissa said...

By the way, please tell us all again how "just looking at pictures" DOESN'T hurt the victim.

Marie said...

Let's assume everything in that article is true. Those young men did so much more than look at pictures of the young woman. They took advantage of her when she was passed out, they molested her, they took pictures to record the molestation, and they shared the pictures. So we are most definitely not talking about a case of "just looking at pictures."

Here's an experiment for you: Pretend you are the mother of a high school student at that school. Looking for a photo of your son and his friends, you look through his Tumblr images and discover the record of someone molesting this girl. You look at the photo, you are horrified, puzzled, angered...whatever your reaction would be. The question is this: Did you harm the girl by simply looking at the photo?

I assume that you wouldn't delete the photo, scold your son, and dust your hands of the whole affair. You would call the police to report what you saw in the photo. The police ask who owns the laptop and you tell them it belongs to you. So now what?

Your discovery of the photo may be the only way the cops learn about what happened to the girl. So good for you and I hope the cops don't arrest you for possession of child porn...because simply looking at the image will leave a record of it on your hard drive, which means you now are in possession of child porn.

The question still stands: Did you harm the girl by looking at the photo? If your answer is Yes, please explain.

Ethan Edwards said...

Good answer. I take it you're maybe being facetious when you say she would sure notify the police. So many people think that anyone who looks at child porn must be a horrible monster. But so often it's an ordinary person that many people love, with strengths and weaknesses. And if it's not a horrible monster, then you ask questions like, "Wait, just how much harm got done here by looking at them?"

Melissa said...

I assumed the girl in the article killed herself because in addition to the attack she suffered, there were pictures circulating of the event. I further assumed it was the humiliation that pushed her over the edge. You're probably going to say we don't know that for sure. Fine. Let's move on.

I have no idea how I'd react finding such a picture on ANYONE'S phone. But the hypothetical situation you described is far off the mark of the point I'm trying to make. Your husband didn't just "look at pictures." Your husband was looking at child pornography. Victims of sexual assault ARE HARMED by the dissemination of pictures of their attack.

By the way, I have to ask... Care to tell us how much time in prison he got? Exactly how much child porn he had on his computer?