Read about LA County Public Defender Ricardo García’s thoughts on the 56th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright in today’s op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.
The Los Angeles County Public Defender strongly supports Gov. Gavin Newsom’s moratorium on executions in California, a historic step for criminal justice reform in the state.
On a recent Saturday, about 40 LA County Public Defender lawyers, paralegals and support staff pored through countless boxes of court cases with a single mission.
"Happy Social Work Month, I wish it could be all year. I am proud of you. You guys do so much tremendous work."
"You guys saved my life!"
"This is going to change my life for the better."
"I believe that the commitment of every man and woman in this room right now is aligned with the reality that we can change this for the better. And we will."
"LA County Public Defenders work tirelessly and often without public praise or understanding of the difficult job of being the foot soldiers of the Constitution."
"My goal is to be one of those attorneys who just wants to give back to the community, to be a voice for the people who are otherwise ignored and overlooked."
"Compassion is the main thing I want them to learn. I want them to realize there’s a duty to help other people not as fortunate."
"It’s a great opportunity for us to show people that we are committed to our mission and we are here for them."
“We have a core mission, we all know it. To be zealous advocates. To treat our clients with dignity. To do our work with integrity. It’s more than just our mission, it’s a human mission.”
"Youth perceive custody very differently and do not fully understand the criminal justice system and the consequences of waiving Miranda rights."
"Public Defenders really are the most empathetic, passionate, understanding lawyers I’ve met. Here, no one does this for money or prestige, you do it because you believe in it and want to help people."
“Our job is to show our clients’ humanity.”
"We at the Public Defender want to see our clients be given an opportunity to gain employment, shelter and food for their families."
“I think we made a difference today.”
"There’s something in my DNA that I just felt that fighting for the underdog was my destiny."
“I hope that my daughter learns that being a successful person is not about how much money you make or where your degree was obtained. Rather, it’s about the impact you have on the world."
"Today, I finally got to meet the lawyers who were able to help me go in the right direction."
"We are committed to creating and maintaining a partnership with the community."