Harriet Miers Writing on Criminal Justice

Law Prof Doug Berman of Sentencing Law and Policy found this commentary written by Harriet Miers and published in the Texas Lawyer in July, 1992. Read the whole thing, it should bring some measure of comfort to criminal defense lawyers. Here's some of it:

All lawyers, not just those involved in the criminal justice system, should have an interest in efforts to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system. The State Bar and the Texas Young Lawyers Association conducted 15 hearings across the state concerning pro bono issues. These hearings provided a clear picture that inadequacies exist in the resources available to provide constitutionally required indigent criminal defense.

The hearings also underscored that the lack of resources in some areas of the state not only has a dramatic impact on the courts' performance of all of their obligations, but also unduly burdens the ability of lawyers to maintain a private practice. Lawyers must, in the interest of the administration of justice, be aggressive advocates for increasing the resources available for the representation of indigent defendants.

Additionally, we are reminded that success in fighting crime in our nation is more than treating symptoms. We will be successful in solving our massive crime problems only when we attack the root causes. All of us, men and women, young and old, must pledge ourselves to address the ills that surround us in our communities.

We all can be active in some way to address the social issues that foster criminal behavior, such as: lack of self-esteem or hope in some segments of our society, poverty, lack of health care (particularly mental health care), lack of education, and family dysfunction.

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    Re: Harriet Miers Writing on Criminal Justice (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:40 PM EST
    She may soon be pledge herself to address the ills that surround us in our communities because a big criminal who is at the root of a lot of societies ills both here and abroad may soon be indicted. firedoglake mentions Hurricaine Patrick and links to The Blotter where Steve Perry suggests that Bush appointed her because he will be indicted by Fitzgerald. Meir may be the key to some of Bush's problems and solutions for she is loyal to the nth degree. If Hurricaine Patrick makes a direct hit and Meir is on the SC she will be in a very difficult position. The conflivt between personal loyalty and public service, both of which she seems to have an abundance of, will certainly test her integrity.