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.
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.
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.
A powerful new video underscores what many persons with felony convictions in Washington state are never told: Once out of custody and no longer under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections, he or she can register to vote.
After a friend was accosted for wearing the hijab, Dua Abudiab, a public defender at DPD’s TDA division, decided it was time to speak up.
Eight public defenders, with the support of several others at DPD, worked tenaciously to save the lives of three people facing the death penalty in 2015. WSBA is honoring them for their work.
This commentary by Lorinda Youngcourt was originally published in The Seattle Times.
INDIVIDUALS accused of misdemeanors in King County sit in jail for days, weeks, even months, for want of $1,000 bail. Already living close to the edge, they see what few support systems they have unravel while they’re incarcerated — accused but not convicted of a crime.
Lisa Paglisotti, a seasoned public defender, was sworn in as a King County District Court judge on Tuesday, May 24, by Superior Judge LeRoy McCullough. She was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the appointment of District Judge Johanna Bender to the county’s Superior Court bench.