Public Defenders

Our constitution guarantees the right to a lawyer, whether you can afford your own or not. Unfortunately however, too many level of government do not take this mandate seriously, and leave their system of public defenders grossly undermanned and under funded. 

When most people are unable to afford a lawyer, and the government fails to perform its constitutional duty, then that opens our courts up to exploitation from the very wealthy. A lack of public defenders means that an overloaded court system will lean on quick and easy plea bargains, rather than truly seeking justice. If we want to make sure that innocent people do not have their record tainted by the failure of a system, then we need to hire the people required to follow through with the process.

Pretrial Rights

In the U.S. you are innocent until proven guilty. I believe that is a gold standard for a justice system and an important principle to uphold. That said, there are too many cases of people being detained pretrial for extremely lengthy periods of time. That can come at a cost to their job, their home, and their family life. We cannot risk ruining an innocent persons life, so we have to protect the right to go back to your job if you are found innocent, and the right to have open communication with family while detained pretrial. Additionally, we need to put tighter restrictions on the use of cash bail, and who can be detained for an extended period pretrial.

The Constitution promises a fair and speedy trial, and I think we should abide by that, we need to make sure that we have enough judges, defenders and prosecutors in order to make our justice system move smoothly. We wouldn't have to worry about lengthy pretrial detentions if we actually had a quick process for getting a suspect to a judge. We all know our courts are bogged down, and it seems clear that the solution is to simply hire more judges to respond to an ever growing population. 

Cyber Warants

Technology has provided law enforcement agencies with an unprecedented capability of collecting evidence with great detail and time-specificity. That said, this technology has not all been subject to clear judicial review, and some law enforcement agencies actively try to hide their methodology from the courts. 

I want to implement a standardized set of warrants in the cyber domain, so that both citizens and law enforcement know what tactics they can use, and what type of warrant they will need in order to collect the information they want. We do not want to stop law enforcement from benefiting from our new technology, we just want to make sure they get a warrant before they do.