What should you do if you’re stopped by the police? Three youth in King County share an important message.
Criminal records hinder a person’s ability to get a job, secure housing, obtain benefits and more. The Department of Public Defense’s new post-conviction relief unit will help people rebuild their lives by vacating convictions and expunging records as allowed under state law.
A Seattle Municipal Court (SMC) policy permitting a judge to hold certain defendants in jail more than one business day before a preliminary appearance was struck down yesterday in a significant win for criminal defendants.
Maureen McKee, a public defender for the past 16 years, is the newest King County Superior Court judge. Many expect she’ll bring a commitment to equal justice and a passion for the rights of those less fortunate to the bench.
Thanks to a pilot project funded by the City of Seattle, the Department of Public Defense is now able to address the civil consequences of a criminal conviction or arrest.
County Councilman Dave Upthegrove has drafted a motion that would forbid law enforcement from questioning a young person detained in the juvenile detention center without an attorney present. DPD thinks it’s high time.
Sadé Smith and Matthew Sanders enter a program that’s not only a feather in their cap but also a way to do even more on behalf of clients and in support of their colleagues.
The team defending Aaron Ybarra gave him the opportunity to tell his story, helping to illuminate the way mental illness can play out in a person’s life.
Ezequiel Apolo-Albino spent eight years in prison wrongfully accused of a crime that never happened. Thanks to the tenacity and legal acumen of Department of Public Defense attorney Amy Parker and DPD investigators Molly Gilbert and Bettye Witherspoon, a Superior Court judge recently signed an order vacating his conviction on two counts of child molestation.
The win last year was a game-changer. Thanks to a class-action lawsuit brought by several public interest attorneys, a federal judge ruled that immigrants with mental disabilities facing deportation proceedings are entitled to a lawyer, a first-ever affirmation of the right to appointed counsel for immigrant detainees.