So, Brady’s lawyer died at 90, a good age, time to do enough and live. Didn’t you want to know what some of these lawyers and defendants looked like? How many times do you ask for Brady material? Did you ever read the original case and then look to see how it has been eviscerated?

Don’t forget Brady applies to stuff that inculates and exculpates, though prosecutors are loathe to say anything positive about those they think to indict and convict. One might ask the latest SCOTUS nominee what he thinks of it, too.

Larkin Forney Lived a Life



Ten years ago I worked as a Public Defender in Middlebury. People in custody were kept in a basement holding area that allowed for safe transfers from cars to the jail, but unhealthy and borderline unconstitutionally improper cells. There was plenty of room for counsel visits, with no privacy, no windows and claustrophobic pens. When a prisoner arrived financially unable to afford counsel, a lawyer would be assigned to the case. Almost no one, except for the DUI, out-of-towners, had retained lawyers, most of whom could plead out a drunk but not try a case. The Deputy Sheriff would find the on-duty PD or call out the name of the defendant. One day, I heard, “whose got Larkin Forney?” Frankly, I thought it was a sandwich or a condition. I said, “what’s a Larkin Forney?” “You’re client, you idiot. He’s downstairs, with a pile of papers and he wants to talk with you.”


Larkin had papers, all right. He had motions he had written which he wanted to file and he had a full statement of facts, his version, and he had pages of a book he was writing. And he was pissed that I hadn’t familiarized myself with all the nuances of the case before we met. I had to excuse his vituperativeness, given the fact I would leave the cell and he would stay. He may not have known I only just got the papers and barely had looked at them as I walked down the stairs. And, poor communication between offices of the Public Defender and the general malaise of some of the attorneys prevented me from knowing he had fired his previous PD after writing a complaint to the disciplinary committee accusing the lawyer who is now a judge or magistrate or something or all sorts of unethical conduct, asserting that the representation was less than adequate and unconstitutionally defective.

[MORE To Come]

Andrew’s Out

Not that he didn’t know. But taking up with the girl you met in rehab can only bring tsouris. Sure enough, he ended up at the 4C’s for the last three months. “Every cloud has a silver lining. I would have frozed to death or overdosed if I had been out.” “Jails should protect us from you, not you to yourself,” I said to a deaf ear.

Now he needs a job to pay for a program, a DV program, not the drug program he needs. No contact with a public defender for three months until she communicated a plea offer which he took, despite not being guilty, in order to get out of jail. SOS, suspended sentence, probation, costs, blah, blah, blah. Not sure I listen to these stories anymore. “If I were in IDAP, they would pay for it; DOC program.” “Don’t you need a felony to qualify for that?” I asked feigning a lack of knowledge. “Not sure,” he said.

Andrew will go back to jail and max out if he doesn’t get a job, stay out of trouble and attend programming for 26 weeks ($35 a wk). He cannot go to the Dept. of Labor, because he has child support payments which are in arrears. Who will hire him? At what wage? Let’s see. $10 an hour. 40 hours a week. $400. Taxes and social security. $270. $35 for programming. $225. Where does he live? $275 a week at a motel. You see what I mean. No way.

The woman has left town. Andrew will lie his way through the program, assuming he goes and is not kicked out. Anger will spew from his mouth against her, directly, and women indirectly.

In denial, another case awaits, a felony. Who will be next?

Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds

The Birds opened this semester’s presentation by Access Cinema in Hinesburg. Very challenging list of films on Ken Peck’s list. Engaging discussion after the movie. Sixteen signed up. Ken wants the entire auditorium filled. Audacious expectations. And, I don’t think watching a movie in such an overwhelming venue will be fun or enlightening if so many people are watching.

Continue reading “Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds”

Jim Winner Dead

Jim Winner died at 81. He developed the Club Antitheft device for cars, changing the lives of car thieves and car owners. No longer could someone with a screwdriver pop the ignition and drive a car away, basically without fear of being caught; no longer did drivers park their cars, fearing they would not be there upon return. Not sure whether theft insurance dropped in price, but anxiety certainly did.

Continue reading “Jim Winner Dead”