Friday, January 13, 2017

Rev. Edward Pinkney's Work Pays Off!

Berrien County Hires New Chief Public Defender

Berrien County recently introduced the new Berrien County public defender after Rev. Edward Pinkney, along with BANCO and allies, advocated for over 15 years for a public defender's office. This is a major victory for the people!

Eight new defense attorneys, who will represent indigent clients as part of Berrien County's first public defenders office, were introduced to the Berrien County Board of Commissioners last month. During the commisioners' administration committee meeting, Prosecutor Mike Sepic said he might need more prosecutors to keep up with an increased workload.

In over 20 years, court-appointed attorneys Ernest White, Scott Sanford, Richard Sammis, Fuller, and James Jessie never won a single case in Berrien County on behalf of indigent defendants. This group refused to file any motion for the defendants. This very same group worked with former prosecutors Jim Cherry and Art Cotter, and now prosecutor Mike Sepic, to send as many defendants as possible to prison.

Berrien County provided the poorest quality of legal defense through 15 to 18 contract attorneys who handled about 5,000 felony and misdemeanor cases per year.

First Rev. Pinkney argued for over 15 years and then the statewide commission took up the argument for an indigent defense system with a lower case load and independent of the judges and the court, who previously ran the Berrien County indigent defense system.

Chief Public Defender Carl Macpherson selected his team from 50 applicants and 20 finalists, who were interviewed. Among the new attorneys are Jennifer Lamp, a Jackson County attorney who has been practicing for 15 years and Stephanie Farkas of Oakland County with six years of experience. The other attorneys are Ryan Seale of Kent County who has five years' experience practicing law, Jonathan Baber of Wayne County with three years, Brandon Barthelemy of Kenty County with one year, Jennifer Field with one year, and Kaitlin Locke of Kent County with six months.

Macpherson, a University of Michigan graduate, has worked in criminal defense systems in Washington, D.C., Portland, OR, and Washtenaw County in Michigan.

This is the very first step. Mr. Macpherson must be strong and committed to justice for all. He has to deal with the power of the land grabbing, job out-sourcing, blood-sucking criminal enterprise of Whirlpool Corporation that has its headquarters in Benton Harbor.

Mr. Macpherson must also stand tall and deal with the corrupt judges. Judge Dennis Wiley, Judge Charles LaSata, Judge Schoffield, Judge Art Cotter, Judge Angela Pasula, and we cannot forget the most corrupt of all prosecutors, Mike Sepic.

County Commissioner Bill Chickering said the wild card is the (corrupt) judges and how the judges react to the new system.

We must confront the corrupt justice system. Let's make this struggle a victory for all the victims of the corrupt criminal justice system in every city and town in America.