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January 12, 2016

Unless Prez Obama goes off script, do not expect much SOTU talk about criminal justice reform

The White House has now released here the "Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery State of the Union Address." And, despite much early buzz that criminal justice reform was going to get some serious attention, it seems that the only part of the speech that even gets close to mentioning this topic comes at the very outset:

Tonight marks the eighth year I’ve come here to report on the State of the Union.  And for this final one, I’m going to try to make it shorter.  I know some of you are antsy to get back to Iowa.

I also understand that because it’s an election season, expectations for what we’ll achieve this year are low.  Still, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the constructive approach you and the other leaders took at the end of last year to pass a budget and make tax cuts permanent for working families.  So I hope we can work together this year on bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform, and helping people who are battling prescription drug abuse.  We just might surprise the cynics again.

Given Prez Obama's so far uninspired record in this space, I suppose I should not be too surprised or disappointed that all the criminal justice buzz leading up to this speech was just more smoke and mirrors. And, if Prez Obama ends up walking the walk on what some have called "mass clemency," I will not be troubled that he did not talk the talk about criminal justice issues in this final SOTU. Still, I am now far less excited to hear him deliver the speech.

January 12, 2016 at 09:01 PM | Permalink


He named checked the issue at the beginning of the speech.

Obama did more than "this space" gave him credit for at times, but keep pushing.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 12, 2016 9:13:50 PM

Cops are thugs. They are the agents of the vile prosecutor lawyer. In utter failure. They are pigs.

I would like to see the defense bar provide a public service. It would be a yearly assembly program in every high school. "Who the Police Are,and How to Talk to Them, and Live to Tell About It."

The stupid defense bar will never do that. Why? These pieces of filth, are agents of the prosecution as well. They are worse than the police, being the messengers of the prosecution, and the peddlers of their misleading plea bargains. They do not want to prevent any arrest, so people have to hire them.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 12, 2016 9:28:47 PM

S.C. writes: "The stupid defense bar will never do that. Why? These pieces of filth.." Your drivel is tiresome. Get a life. More importantly, get the right prescription.

Posted by: anon | Jan 12, 2016 11:32:39 PM

Anon. What do you think about the high school assembly I have proposed, "Who the Police Are,and How to Talk to Them, and Live to Tell About It?"

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 13, 2016 6:27:06 AM

Anon. Should an appellate finding of inadequacy of representation mean lawyer malpractice per se? Explain why not?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 13, 2016 10:46:32 AM

Anon. Should all plea deals presented to defendants without making them review the 50,000 civil consequences of a criminal conviction represent unilateral mistake, lack of informed consent, and make all plea contract void, not voidable?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 13, 2016 10:48:02 AM

Anon. What do you think about that crazy exoneration rate? In a quarter of the cases, you allowed your boy to falsely confess.

The list of your failures and betrayals can be quite long.

Now explain to me how you defense lawyers are not the bitches of the prosecution and the traitors to your client, in violation of numerous Rules of Conduct. I can enumerate those if you wish.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 13, 2016 10:50:40 AM

Anon. What do you think about the study showing that pro se criminal defendants have the same success rate in obtaining jury verdicts as public defenders?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 13, 2016 10:55:10 AM

Anon. From a professionalism point of view, what do you think about the fact that clients are plentiful and fungible, but prosecutors, to whom you owe your job, are not?

You displease a client and he fires you, you can find 100 others to take his place.

You deter a prosecutor by personal legal attack, such as total e-discovery on their personal computers, and referral of all the child porn to the FBI for investigation. He quits, you lose your job, because there are fewer cases.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 13, 2016 10:58:59 AM

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