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Guess What Issue JUST Came UP in the AG’s Race? Indigent Defense!

Sometimes you got to seek your chances…


…sometimes you got to use the chances that come to you!¬† And this is one of those times.¬† See this presser from the Virginia GOP in support of AG candidate John Adams (let’s emphasize part of this in italics, the bold is in there):

Mark Herring Opposes Sixth Amendment Rights

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right…to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence“–

This week, Mark Herring is attacking John Adams for effectively representing his clients, completely disregarding that the Constitution guarantees all Americans the right to have effective counsel in criminal proceedings.
RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:
“Our Constitution guarantees the right to a fair trial, but Mark Herring thinks that people he disagrees with shouldn’t have adequate representation. Mark Herring has shown time and again that he will put his personal views and interests ahead of his duty as an elected official. Virginians have had enough of his partisan games, and they will see through this weak attack.”
Questions Mark Herring must answer:
* Does he support the protections of the Sixth Amendment?
* Does he support Virginia’s public defender system?
* Does he think he’s upheld Virginia’s Constitution during his term as Attorney General?
The GOP (John Whitbeck) is right.¬† Herring has attached Adams for his defense of certain persons:¬† I should have talked about it.¬† It’s lawyer bashing.¬† I criticized a now GOP state senator for doing it.¬† And the RNC, too.¬† And AG Herring ought to know better – he’s a lawyer!¬† Look at this from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

“John Adams – the best attorney general the powerful and well-connected can buy,” a voice in Herring’s ad says.

The ad singles out three cases Adams worked on. Adams is on a leave of absence during the campaign from his role as chair of the government investigations and white-collar litigation department at the Richmond firm McGuireWoods. Among the cases was that of CommunityOne Bank, which in 2011 agreed to pay $400,000 in restitution to victims of a third-party ponzi scheme that operated through accounts maintained at the bank, according to a Department of Justice news release.

So apparently it is not the Commonwealth and its laws and the acts of the legislature drawing district lines that aren’t worthy of defense but so are white-collar criminal suspects and large corporations, too!¬† So who is left?¬† To paraphrase Dietrich Boenhoffer:

First the state constitution does not get defended and I said nothing because I supported gay marriage.

Then the gerrymandered lines weren’t defended, and I agreed – change the lines!

Then it was the white-collar criminal suspects not defended and I always pay my taxes…

Then it was evil corporations not defended, and I am not an evil corporation.

Then it was me and there was no one left to defend me!

But this is a golden opportunity for the GOP – not just John Adams – but Sen. Jill Vogel (who already promised me we would talk in re indigent defense in January – win or lose!) and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie.¬† All three ought to come out – at a setting in NOVA is best – for a statewide public defender system.¬† After that, talk up collaborative divorce.¬† I’m telling you – we can win some suburban women in NOVA and Hampton Roads and there is the election!¬† Can you say GOP sweep?

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

3 Responses to “Guess What Issue JUST Came UP in the AG’s Race? Indigent Defense!”

  1. Freddy Boisseau says:

    If my memory of history serves me right. Did not another Lawyer by the name John Adams of Boston Massachusets represent some British Soldiers in the killing of Colonist? That Mr. Adams did not do so because he agreed with the Soldiers (he actually was a strong supporter of the position of the Colonist), but because he believed everybody should have the right to a fair trial and representation in the court. Something the tyrant king at the time would not afford those same Colonist that were in the process of rebelling against him.

    It seems that the Democrat canidate for AG, has more in common with that long pass king then he would like to admit. If I was on the John Adams Campaing, I might take advantage of that.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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