Skip to comments.Loughner defense in 2011 rampage cost taxpayers $1.1mil, case documents reveal
Posted on 07/06/2013 6:33:10 AM PDT by SandRat
Documents revealing legal fees among 60 unsealed; taxpayers picked up the tab
(Excerpt) Read more at azstarnet.com ...
Most on here think that the guy running over the World is a hero but this guy is a Zero. What is the difference?????
Our disgusting legal system.
I think there may have been some serious over billing involved here.
The law hits a major speed bump when a defendant is obviously severely insane. In the 1960s, criminals used the insanity defense both to get an easier confinement, and to get released early when judged sane enough by doctors. So there was a crackdown.
Today it is extremely hard to get an insanity defense. Usually, insane prisoners go to prison, then when they act insane enough, are put in a psychiatric wing of the prison away from the general population, who would abuse or kill them.
But Loughner has been bounced back and forth getting evaluated and just about everyone agrees that he is quite crackers, so much so that he will be institutionalized for the rest of his life. Which today is somewhat worse than prison, as in many insane asylums, they just drug up their patients so that they are unconscious 23 hours of the day, awake just long enough to eat, defecate, get washed and be put back to bed.
Public defender and prosecutors are / is on salary ..... State should have paid no more than that salary. Jury duty still six dollars a day ? Ok they sequestered the jury at the double tree hotel maybe. Subject matter experts get paid ? Court infrastructure has hourly wages, clerks, balifs, recorders etc ...a few extra cops added for crowd control each day.
Guess 1.1 mil is all that charge code stacked up to display what was spent during his trial vs for his trial.
All those folks shy of the no tell motel motel sequestering costs is daily budget IMO.
Yet this is all “defense costs” ....?
Aka.....U.S. District Judge Larry Burns wrote that Loughner’s lawyers were paid on a monthly basis at an hourly rate of $178. He said “the lump sum that Ms. Clarke and Mr. Fleming received for their work” in the case was nearly $1.1 million.
Is this normal pay for a public defender ?
Insane system. Yes I deserve a lawyer when charged, appointed by the court if I can not afford one. But 1.1 million dollars worth ?????
Crazy as the victim, her husband and her attacker....
Just my opinion....stay safe !
Is this normal pay for a public defender ? Insane system. Yes I deserve a lawyer when charged, appointed by the court if I can not afford one. But 1.1 million dollars worth ?????
1.1 million does sound like an awful lot for taxpayers to pay in Loughner's defense when he was so obviously guilty of committing those crimes, but truthfully, an hourly rate of $178 per hour in a capitol murder case; six cold blooded murders and the wounding of 13 others including a Congress person, is probably not that out of line when you consider that that probably does not represent just what the two lawyers were paid in salary, but for their total costs and overhead; that of the law clerks, the paralegals, their legal research time, the costs of hiring medical and psychiatric experts that testified as to Loughner's mental state and Loughner being schizophrenic, the costs associated with filing all the court motions over the course of several years or more. His defense was trying to and successfully got Loughner seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years, after he pleaded guilty to 19 federal charges in the shootings when he could have gotten the death penalty.
Am I happy about tax payers footing the bill to the tune of 1.1 million dollars in Loughner defense? No. Not really. Do I think that total cost is excessive? Im not sure as I dont know what all those costs entail or what an equivalent private defense would cost nor do I know how much the prosecution spent either, but Im pretty sure it cost at least that much or more. Do I think Loughner should have gotten the death penalty while I support the death penalty, in this case, no, I do not.
But everyone needs to keep in mind that the other side of this coin is that if you or I are charged with a crime, especially a major felony or capitol crime, either by the state or by the federal government, remember that the state and federal government has in essence unlimited resources at their hand in order to mount a prosecution. You or I on the other hand, while we have the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, in reality unless we are very wealthy or find very good private attorney willing to take up our case pro-bono, we are pretty much at a great disadvantage when it comes to mounting a defense against the vast resources of the government (also BTW, tax payer funded) and how many times are my and your tax dollars used to prosecute people who have committed no crime at all, are falsely accused or have only committed crimes only on paper, i.e. cases where someone has only violated some obscure federal regulation (think EPA, IRS, etc.).
As insane as our legal system seems sometimes, personally I would rather side on paying for the competent legal defense of someone, even if presumably guilty, who cannot afford private legal counsel, rather than to allow the state to railroad the convictions of those who may not be guilty or who may not deserve the death penalty due to true mental illness just because they dont have the personal wealth to fund a competent defense.
FWIW, I also feel the same way about prosecution and or police misconduct. While sometimes very bad people are let off due to procedural technicalities, Id rather see a very few guilty people go free than have truly innocent people rot in jail or worse due to abuses of government powers. In other words if the police can mishandle evidence, lie about evidence or a prosecutor hides evidence, even when the accused has prior convictions for similar crimes and is most likely guilty, if they (the state) can use those methods to convict the guilty, they can also use those very same methods to convict the innocent.