Getting Organized to Fix the Justice System

by Lisa D’Souza

When I was an assistant public defender, friends and I would wonder what would happen if all the defense lawyers decided to protest the problems with the criminal justice system.  What if every criminal defense lawyer refused to represent people against whom the state sought the death penalty?  What if we agreed we would no longer represent anyone charged with “war on drugs” felonies?  The system can’t operate without defense lawyers.  Why do we let it operate with us?

Today, in the New York Times, Michelle Alexander offers another radical idea to force society to confront the problems in our criminal justice system.

I’m not sure what the best path forward is.  I am sure it is time for us to get organized.  It is time to start talking.  We all know there are serious problems with our criminal justice system.  And it is up to us to fix them.  How?

One thought on “Getting Organized to Fix the Justice System

  1. Exceptionally wonderful article. I am a Black man here in Memphis,Tn. where in 1978, simply walking in my neighborhood, ran upon by White policemen,beatened,shot paralyzed,acquitted,rearrested, framed to curtail suit,falsely imprisoned 22 years,exonerated 2002,still not compensated, but ostracized by Black civil rights people in Memphis. What kind of mess is this?

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