Daily Archives: March 27, 2007

Do we have a “look”?

You can spot a cop or a prosecutor from a mile away, goes the myth. Polished shoes with pointy toes, short cropped hair and always looking officious are certain indicators of an individual’s service in public safety and criminal justice, it is believed. But what of us? The public defenders? Do we have a “look”? Is there anything about our appearance that alerts another person that we are public defenders? I know Blondie wears pink, but what about the rest? Anything you have observed? Do all public defenders wear tweed jackets and have ponytails? Are we more likely to have longer hair or beards?

How should the defense bar handle offender registry legislation?

Steve Smith, who commented here on my violent offender registry post has elaborated his position further on his own blog in response to a comment there. He writes:

1.  I do not believe it does the defense bar and its allies in the blogosphere and elsewhere to blindly rail against any and all sex offender (or violent crime registries if this law goes any further) registries.  The registries are clearly here to stay and wishful thinking is not making them go away.

2.  The defense bar is going to be more effective assisting lawmakers in crafting RATIONAL registry laws in the first instance rather than swinging blind hay makers in the vain hope something will dissuade lawmakers from a “popular” course of action which has so far been upheld by the courts.

3.  In my role as a citizen I think its entirely possible for a rationally crafted registration law to be of some use in alerting the public to dangers of which it may otherwise be unaware.  I am critical of somewhat random categories of crimes being held up as a rational method of categorization rather than a scientific look at the probabilities a particular individual poses a danger.

There’s more. Go to his site to read the full post.

He does make some valid points. Obviously, sex offender (or any other offender) registries are here to stay, as are residency restrictions. I don’t think anyone in the blawgosphere is delusional about that. However, just because they’re here to stay doesn’t mean that people vehemently opposed to them should temper their criticism because of that reason alone.

The second argument he makes is a valid point going forward. Unfortunately, it assumes that lawmakers would have been amenable to anything other than draconian legislation were it not for the “ruckus” created by the defense bar in many situations.

His third argument is one that many in the defense bar are already advocating. I, for one, am eagerly awaiting New Jersey’s study on the efficacy of Megan’s Law in the state. New Jersey, to the best of my knowledge, does have a tiered system.

In summation, I will repeat what I said in my earlier post: I am not altogether against offender registries, though there has to be more of an evaluation process and the flasher does not need to be in the same category as the child molester.

However, I am and will be firmly against residency restrictions, for I believe they are another form of punishment.


WordPress has this cool feature “pingbacks” whereby if I cite another blog, the software will automatically ping or send a trackback to that blog. However, if you’re not using WordPress and want to send a trackback to an entry on my blog, there’s no easily visible way to do it.

So here it is:

All you have to do is copy the permalink for the post and add /trackback/ to the end of the URL. For example, in the post below, the permalink is:

permalink (mouse over)

and the trackback URL is:

trackback (mouse over)

Simple! 🙂

Julie Amero sentencing continued

In a not so shocking turn of events, Julie Amero’s sentencing has been postponed yet again. It is now scheduled for April 26th.

Amid a flurry of meetings and growing pressure on the state’s attorney’s office, the sentencing of convicted teacher Julie Amero has been postponed until April 26.

No reason for the delay was filed with the clerk at Norwich Superior Court. State’s Attorney Michael Regan, who is now involved in the case, declined to comment. Amero’s lawyers also did not return calls for comment Tuesday.

No one knows yet why it was continued, so there’s no need to speculate. It could mean something; it could mean nothing.

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