Monday, July 14, 2003

But Vermont has a good system of public defense!

Even if Vermont's system of public defense is good, the question is whether it remained so because of Dean or in spite of Dean. The latter seems more likely.

He replaced two defender generals: both Appel, mentioned here, and E. M. Allen, his predecessor. A third, David Curtis, publicly accused him of cutting his funding; that accusation is repeated in this editorial: "During the 1990s, state's attorneys, police, and corrections all received budget increases vastly exceeding increases enjoyed by the defender general's office."

All this suggests that as governor, Dean sought to remedy the problem he saw with Vermont's system: "My view is that the justice system is not fair. It's not fair. It bends over backward to help defendants and is totally unfair to victims and to society as a whole."