Monday, July 14, 2003

Dean v. Defenders

The relationship between the defender general's office and Dean has been difficult from the time Dean assumed the governorship a decade ago.
In an interview his first week as governor 10 years ago, Dean made it clear where he stood:
"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," he said.
Dean subsequently supported toughening the guidelines for people qualifying for a public defender and limiting the services defenders provide to prisoners.
Dean's decision not to replace Appel echoes a similar situation eight years ago when Dean hired him.
In 1993, Dean opted not to reappoint then-Defender General E.M. Allen. Dean said he wanted someone in the position who would focus more energy on the fiscal management of the office.
Dean replaced Allen with Appel, who at the time was an assistant attorney general.
The defender general's office oversees the state's public defender system and provides legal counsel for criminal defendants who cannot afford a private attorney.
The Associated Press State & Local Wire, August 14, 2001

Appel went on to head the Vermont Human Rights Commission.