I have a lot of thoughts. Mainly about the crimes committed by police against Black children. nymag.com/intelligencer/…
They were called superpredators & monsters. Mere witnesses to crimes, they were treated like hardened adults by police, separated from their parents, chained to chairs, threatened with being charged themselves. They were wrongfully convicted & sent away to adult prisons to die.
We have to reckon with these police interrogations: 12, 13-year-old witnesses locked in rooms, sexualized, degraded, threatened, coerced. The damage is immense and continuing. To the victims who never got justice. To the public bc the real perpetrators went free.
I can't stop thinking about the children who gave false testimony & became suicidal. The children who were wrongfully convicted & grew into middle age behind bars. I can't get their arrest photos out of my head--how terrified they were. How terrifyingly young they were.

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More from @larabazelon

24 Sep 21
I posted about litigating and imposter syndrome and got an overwhelming and enlightening response. Some thoughts: (1) Gaslighting/attacking female attorneys/attorneys of color who represent marginalized groups is central to how the criminal justice system operates.
(2) The criminal justice system is set up to pulverize the clients. It operates best when it gaslights the attorneys to derange and derail them so that they can no longer be effective. Women/POC are easier targets because they are easier to stereotype and dismiss.
No amount of "gold stars" will immunize you. It doesn't matter how long you've been practicing or how many awards you've won. It doesn't matter what you have written or how many people you have helped. To think otherwise is naive.
Read 6 tweets
23 Sep 21
🧵Advising a client to remain silent when he is a person of interest/prime suspect is what a competent lawyer does. Talking to the police rarely dispels suspicion, innocent or guilty. The lawyer would also advise the client's family to remain silent.
For the victim's family, the person of interest not cooperating is agonizing and infuriating. The police (and the media) are incentivized to be sharply critical. But for the defense attorney and their ethical/6A obligations, only one person matters: the client.
"An advocate, in the discharge of his duty, knows but one person in all the world, and that person is his client. To save that client by all means and expedients, and at all hazards and costs to other persons, and, among them, to himself, is his first and only duty."
Read 4 tweets
15 Jul 21
Thread on bad prosecutors and lack of accountability: SCOTUS says that they have 100 percent immunity even if they send an innocent person to prison. But don't worry, SCOTUS says! The state bar will discipline them!
I call B.S.
Over more than 2 years, I have filed 7 bar complaints against rogue prosecutors in California. These are ppl who have ruined lives. Not a single complaint of mine has resulted in discipline. The state bar is more likely to light itself on fire than launch an investigation.
Two of my complaints have languished for 2.5 years. One complaint, where prosecutors hid evidence that led to the overturning of a verdict & a new trial, led to a private reprimand. I did all the work to make it easy for the bar. But all I proved is that the process is a joke.
Read 5 tweets
21 Apr 21
The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by police. Seems powerful, right? But here is a non-exhaustive list of "reasonable" bases for police to stop people, which can ratchet up very, very quickly into police using deadly force . . .
making too much eye contact, making not enough eye contact, "furtive" movements, any traffic violation, any perceived traffic violation even if there was none, a "bulge" in a puffy jacket (what even is that???), failing to stand up quickly enough when tying your shoe . . .
A lot of (white) ppl say, why did he run? If he had only cooperated none of this would have happened. Tell that to anyone who has ever been mistreated in custody, wrongfully jailed, held without bail, wrongfully convicted.
Read 5 tweets
4 Jul 20
Thread on black men, sexual assault in prison, and Title 9 claims. I have a client, a young black man in prison, who gets sexually assaulted repeatedly by a guard. The guard shoves his hand down my client's pants and gropes him. When my client says no, he gets sent to lockdown.
In lockdown, the guards put my client in the one cell with no fan. Temperature soars near 100 degrees. There's urine on the floor. Roaches, spiders, and ants are crawling everywhere. No COVID precautions. Nothing to read, nothing to do but go crazy.
Meanwhile, I have a client, a young black man at an elite college, accused of sexual assault. The accuser filed a Title IX complaint claiming he put her hand on his penis over his pants without her consent. She and her friends denounce him publicly. They've canceled him.
Read 6 tweets
27 May 20
Thread re Amy Cooper & white women falsely accusing black men. She said, "I am going to tell [the police] that there is an African American man threatening my life." A lie. Amy herself was breaking the rules by having her dog off leash.
The man's crime? Asking Amy to follow the rules by leashing her dog. Amy did call the cops and make the false accusations, her tone increasingly hysterical, while she nearly strangled her dog.
The man recorded her, so her lie is plain. But what if he hadn't? What if he had stayed when the police arrived and tried to explain? Who would the police have likely believed?
Read 6 tweets

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