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Crimcast is a virtual resource devoted to critical conversations about criminology and criminal justice issues. Our blogposts, twitter feeds, podcasts and other content provide an overview of trends, research, commentary and events of interest to criminal justice practitioners, academics and the general public. CrimCast is sponsored by The Center for Crime and Popular Culture, St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY.

Filtering by Tag: public defenders

Help Support Mike's Defense Fund

Nickie Phillips

Guest Post, Karen Iris Tucker

Thanks to Crimcast for giving me a forum to voice my concerns about my friend, Michael Smith-Baker. Mike is known to many of us as an amazing personal trainer, drill sergeant of a class instructor, and all-around amazing human.

Mike is currently being held at Manhattan Detention Complex for a crime I believe he did not commit and to which he has pled Not Guilty. It seems he has been pulled into a mess that can involve as much as 35 years behind bars if he is convicted. The charges are non-violent and the purported evidence is circumstantial, which makes the amount of time he could serve outrageous.

Mike, like many people who end up wrongly serving time, is having financial difficulty obtaining a good lawyer. Mike's family has recently found an excellent lawyer for Mike and has started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for pre-trial costs, which are very expensive--$20,000. It is vital for him to retain a lawyer who can help him get these charges dismissed or greatly reduced. We have very little time in which to make this happen.

Please contribute if you can—and/or contact me if you’d like to share a message with Mike. Please also share this message via email and/or social media with anyone you think would be interested.

Every Sunday after I trained with Mike, he would hug me and say, “I love you. Have a great week.” I can truly say that Mike has added a lot of light in my life. I feel grateful to know him.

Karen Iris Tucker (KT) Writer - Reporter

Screening of "Gideon's Army" at the Ford Foundation

Nickie Phillips

The landmark 1963 Supreme Court Case Gideon v. Wanwright established a defendant's right to an attorney even if he or she cannot afford one ("indigent defense"). In this compelling new film by director Dawn Porter, the legacy of Gideon is explored in light of the real day-to-day realities of public defenders and their clients. Armed with little training and often working exceedingly long hours for little pay, public defense as an institution has been weakened-- leaving open the unsettling possibility that justice is not being served for the most vulnerable among us. Can Gideon be saved? Come watch the film screening of "Gideon's Army" to learn more. Refreshments will be served and a panel discussion will follow the film. When? Thursday, November 15, 2012, 5:30 p.m. Where? Ford Foundation, 320 East 43rd Street, New York City