It started as an inspiration and has metamorphosed into a conviction: If the state is to be represented in each and every criminal prosecution by prosecutors, experts and investigators wholly funded, then why aren't defendants? We've begun a journey toward the goal of equal justice for all by assuring that indigents have the right to a defense. Why not a public defender, or, at the very least, a state paid defender for all accused of a crime?
Sure, it sounds like a hare-brained idea at first blush. After all, services for the indigent are scarcely funded. But as a goal, no American should be required to face the state armed solely with resources he or she can muster. Lawmakers hell-bent on criminalizing their own shadows ought to be compelled to ante up for both sides of the aisle.
I've started a website called Lawyers For All. There is a link to it at the right. I hope you will read, spread the word and comment on this idea. Nothing prevents the wealthy from opting out in the same way that wealthy Britons choose to avoid the public health system. But no American should be forced to choose between a lawyer and a necessary expert. And all Americans should be able to meet the state's allegations with a team as good and as well funded as the state's. Or do we care so little for liberty and presumption of innocence?