Flickr Drug 365?

It’s hard to believe how much time it’s possible to spend just poking around the world of Flickr. It’s like once you start, it’s hard to stop. I just spent a couple of hours clicking through the photographic treasures to be had there, much of it at the Project 365 group. I continue to find the idea of a photo-a-day fascinating, but just too difficult to actually do. Sure, I posted a photo every day for a couple of years, but I didn’t take at least one photo every one of those days. That’s the hard part. Is my life really interesting enough for that? I wonder. And always answer no. But a catalog of a year like this or this (just as examples) would be supercool.

Endless Opportunities

When I was in law school I somehow managed to take and/or post a photo nearly every day for a couple of years. It was a cool little side project and I had nearly endless amounts of fun with it. Nearly every time I left our apartment I made sure I had my camera and kept my eyes peeled for anything unusual or noteworthy to capture for that day.

However, since I moved to Montana and got a “real” job, that “every outing is an opportunity” feeling has pretty much come to an end. Somehow I can’t seem to find the time to take and post photos like I used to. But it’s not just time; I simply haven’t been that inspired by what I see every day. Something about living in D.C. just made everything seem photo-worthy. I suspect everything looked like a good photo because everything I saw was new and different and foreign to me. Here, I’m back in more or less the environment I grew up in, so it often doesn’t seem interesting enough to photograph. Added to that is the fact that often the things I see every day aren’t things that would be appropriate for public posting and/or they are in places where it probably wouldn’t be very cool for me to whip out a camera, e.g., court, jail, etc.

Yet, taking a few minutes to look around Flickr, I realize how silly I’m being. Just check out the All Montana group, Montana Scenes, or the Billings group, and it’s clear that there are many absolutely spectacular photos all around here, just waiting to be captured. If that’s not enough, these lists of additional Montana photo groups lead to even more great shots and ideas for pictures yet to be taken.

Isn’t there some cliche about taking the opportunities you have, rather than passing them up because they aren’t the opportunities you wish you had? I’m sure there is. I need to remember that one…

Anyway, if you’re at all interested in following the imbroglio’s renewed effort to snap more pics, check out the flickr imbroglio, where the most recent pics are/will be posted. And if you’d like to contribute to the success of the flickr imbroglio, give the gift of pro! ;-)

Prosecutors: Bullies w/o badges

While adding the Rodney-Winners to the blogroll yesterday I noticed Doubtslinger’s latest post about his 17-year-old client who pled no-contest to assault with a deadly weapon on Thursday. He writes:

If my client were an adult, I’d be thrilled with the outcome. But the grim reality is that a kid is going to prison where he will learn to be the gang member he is aspiring to be. He’ll be out in about two and a half years a leaner, meaner son of a bitch.

He could have been saved. His participation in this event was at best a bystander, at worst a bystander with bad intentions. I don’t know what led the prosecutor to direct-file on this kid. They could have asked the juvenile court for a fitness hearing, where a social history could have been done, we could have hired child-psychiatrists and social workers to take a long, hard look at this kid and decide whether this is someone society should throw away.

The voters of this great state gave the prosecution the power to skip the psychobabble and treat kids like the grown ups they aren’t. Once a case is direct filed, there is nothing a defense attorney can do until the conclusion of the trial, and hope that the judge will sentence his client as a juvenile instead of as an adult. At least when that issue is dealt with on the front end, a defense attorney knows whether or not he’s playing high stakes poker, and can better advise his client.

First, there are so many great points in there. Our justice system leaves so much discretion to prosecutors that if they fail to exercise it, we end up with a broken system where no justice is done. Here, it appears the prosecutor used his/her discretion to bully this kid into pleading guilty to a very serious charge. The bullying was two-fold—first by directly filing to treat the kid as an adult, and second with the attempted murder charge the prosecutor most likely knew he/she would never win. If you ask me, that’s an abuse of the system, but, then, you didn’t ask me, did you?

Second, what a great post! I wish I could write posts like this on a regular basis. I’ve seen similar injustices countless times in the past year and I always think about writing about them, but I’m honestly afraid to do so while the incidents are still fresh in my mind. The jurisdiction I’m in is so small that there’s always the chance someone would see the post and it would somehow affect my client prior to sentencing. Even after a case is closed I worry about writing about it for the same reason. I’m not sure if being in a larger jurisdiction would change that, or if I’d have to go to a super-secret anonyblog to feel free enough to write that way. Er, perhaps I already have a super-secret anonyblog. Would you know if I did? ;-)

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Congrats Rodney-Winners!

Congratulations to all of this year’s Rodney Award Winners—the very best of the public defender blogging world. All winners are now linked in the blogroll on the lower right so I (and you, if you want) can get to know them better in the coming months.

While I think all the winners have great blogs, I really think Woman In Black should have won her categories and even been a contender for Best Blog overall. Every post she writes is just fascinating to me — great insights into the law, the practice of law, and important bits of life, as well.

But it was a very high-quality field. If you’re a reader looking for quality writing about the work and lives of public defenders, you’ll find plenty among this group. Again, congratulations to all!