Saturday, January 2, 2010

Judges' Background

I usually don't agree with a thing Gov. "Good-hair" Perry does, but this is one of those blue moon exceptions. Perry just appointed a friend of mine (and former Assistant Public Defender), Jennifer Balido, to the 203rd Judicial District Court in Dallas.

I don't like this move just because I like Judge Balido. Or because I worked with her at the PD's office. Or even because she sat 2nd chair on my first murder trial. I like this move because Judge Balido has experience as a defense attorney. And not just a defense attorney, but as a PD. So many judges have prosecutorial backgrounds (as does Balido, actually - she started her career at the Dallas DA's office). Much fewer come from the defense (and even fewer truly understand what it means to be a PD).

Having judges come from both sides of the criminal isle is not just more fair, but it makes for a better system. Everybody understands everyone else's role better. And anything that makes for a better system is a good thing (Lord knows our system needs all the help it can get)! IMO at least, ideally judges would have experience on both sides (prosecutorial and defense).

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