Which is the odd man out?
Yep, it’s pro-death penalty, 7-year prosecutor Bo Burk, who, if you zoom in on the image, touts his membership in the NRA as a plus to be the champion of individual rights for the poor and disenfranchised.
But as if that wasn’t enough, he is also a fiscal conservative who will use all resources available to save taxpayer dollars.
Perhaps since he’s never represented a criminal defendant in his life, he might be confused as to where the government largesse in the criminal justice system comes from: it is from over-criminalization and vindictive prosecutions, excessive prison sentences and lengthy terms of probation.
It isn’t the job of a public defender to worry about how much money is being spent on defense. In fact, if anything, the reality is that indigent defense organizations are criminally underfunded and could use significantly greater numbers of lawyers and investigators to provide constitutionally adequate defenses.
Of course, none of this mentions the greater philosophical problem: the stewardship of individual rights and defenses of poor people left to a man who, just yesterday, was trying to put those very people in jail.
How exactly will that prosecutorial mindset so quickly convert to one of defending rights at all costs? How will he suddenly bring himself to the attitude required of criminal defense attorneys: that whether the client actually committed a crime is often irrelevant; what matters is whether the prosecution can prove it?
It would also seem that in a jurisdiction like his, there may be a significant number of people dealing with mental health and drug addiction issues – topics that prosecutors are usually skeptical of. Can he immediately shed that skepticism and see these defendants for what they are – people who are in trouble and need help?
Logic dictates that the defendants of the 25th Judicial District in Tennessee are in for some worse times. Reality dictates that Bo Burk will continue to get elected, despite his complete lack of qualifications for the job.