Colorado District Attorney Martin Beeson should hand in his prosecutor’s badge and tear up his bar card. It’s like he was asleep in Con Law class during law school. Perhaps he should join the Tea Party with Christine O’Donnell to burn up the Constitution.
According to the Aspen Daily News, District Attorney Martin Beeson said that he stands by recent comments he made in October 2010 criticizing public defenders, as lawyers throughout Colorado condemned his statements.
These comments stem from a meeting he had recently with Pitkin County commissioners concerning his office’s 2011 budget. Beeson criticized local public defenders for some overzealous courtroom tactics, accusing them of unethical behavior and abuse of the system, wasting taxpayer resources, filing meritless motions clogging courtrooms, and unnecessarily using up tremendous resources at taxpayers’ expense.
Beeson told the Aspen Daily News, “Public defenders are not defenders of the public. They are not serving the public good. They are taxpayer-funded attorneys for criminals.” According to the News, he said that Public Defenders “are government-funded defense attorneys and should be called just that, government-funded defense attorneys.”
Who is this guy? He is clearly not anyone who gives a damn about equal justice for all. I guess he skipped over the part of the Constitution that imposes due process. Remember that? Thou shall not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law? I guess he expects the accused to just lie down and roll over.
Talk Left commentator, Jeralyn stated in an article “The Worst Prosecutor Comment of the Week” of October 22, 2010, states that “… Someone needs to clue Beeson in to the purpose of the Bill of Rights… The framers of the Constitution understood mistakes happen, and it is better that a guilty person go free than an innocent person be convicted.”
I have to appreciate the comments of my friend and colleague, Tina Fang for sticking up for her office, who has to deal with this clown on a daily basis. According to the News, she said his characterization of their work “demonstrates why, now more than ever, the public defender’s office must heed its mission to ensure that indigent people accused of crimes in this valley are provided the highest and most zealous level of representation money can’t buy.”
The head of the Colorado Public Defenders System, Defender Douglas K. Wilson, said via e-mail: “It is sad, and scary that Mr. Beeson does not believe in the same principles.”
Doug Wilson went on record with the News criticizing Beeson. “The men and women that work for the [state public defender] work for the poor with little financial reward because they believe in the protections set forth in the Constitution by our founding fathers.”
I agree! What kind of archaic attitude do you need to have to believe that the citizens of your country, state, or county are not entitled to due process and the right to be innocent until proven guilty; or that the government better have enough evidence to convict you beyond all reasonable doubt? It is the DA’s obligation to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to guarantee the protection of the innocent.
In retaliation to the report published in the Aspen Daily News, Martin Beeson refused to apologize for his statements about the public defenders, claiming that he was misquoted, and backed up his initial statement with a Guest Opinion article ‘The Truth Hurts’ which was published in The Aspen Times on November 1, 2010. Beeson writes “The presumption of innocence and the right to counsel are simply smoke screens thrown up by those who have a vested and pecuniary interest in protecting their dirty little secret. …It is the prosecutor who represents you, the people. It is the defense attorney who represents the interests of the perpetrator who has forever devastated the life of the victim… …The truth is that prosecutors and law enforcement officers live with the pain of victims of crime. Defense attorneys do not. …the only apologies needed are from those defense attorneys who routinely re-victimize the good and decent people of our communities who have suffered devastating and life-altering experiences at the hands of their clients.”
Tom Silverman fired back at Beeson, stating that “Martin’s latest responses are so misguided, contradictory, and poorly grounded in law or fact that it begs for a response.”
“I remember cases in which the defense ‘frustrated’ the DA’s efforts to convict the innocent. The literal statement of the DA characterizes these people as ‘criminals’.”
“… Every warrantless arrest is presumed illegal. Most arrests are warrantless. Every statement to the police is subject to scrutiny regarding its voluntariness and compliance with constitutional warnings. Every case involves the obligation of the prosecution to provide exculpatory evidence, reports, and statements of witnesses to the defense. … Ethical conduct by the defense is to ensure the defendant’s rights are provided and protected. Failure to file motions is, in my opinion, a bigger problem than the filing of frivolous ones. Cynically believing that pecuniary interest of attorneys is the issue shows a fundamental misunderstanding of defense motives.”
Beeson’s unremitting statements are affirmation that his interests are not in support of due process of law, but more likely politically motivated tactics to instill fear in the public, as a push to move his political aspirations forward.