District Defender, Ruth Petsch Explains Why Public Defenders Are Refusing New Cases?
The Missouri Public Defenders system is collapsing under the weight of caseloads they cannot handle. Local Public Defenders recently gathered in Jackson County Circuit Judge Patrick W. Campbell’s courtroom to protest the assignment of another case to an office already overburdened. This protest was triggered in part because they feel they are at risk of losing their licenses to practice law because they cannot give a proper defense to every client they have. Ruth Petsch told Judge Campbell that “We’re a group of attorneys who all say we can’t ethically take more cases.” A lawsuit filed earlier this year by the ACLU described the state of the Missouri Public Defenders system as an “urgent constitutional crisis and has resulted in a Public Defender in Eastern Missouri to lose their license for inadequate counsel.
Host David Bell talks with the head of the Kansas City office of the Missouri Public Defenders, Ruth Petsch about her efforts to get more resources, both human and monetary for her office and what this overload of cases means for their clients.
District Defender: Ruth Petsch
Oak Tower, 20th Floor
324 E. 11th Street
Kansas City, MO 64106-2417
PHONE (816) 889-2099
FAX (816) 889-2999
E-MAIL [email protected]
JoJR Calendar for November 6th
The Criminal Justice Task Force will meet Monday November 6th from 6:45 to 8:45 pm at the Church of the Good Shepard, 4947 Chouteau Drive, KCMO. For more information contact Robin Johnson at 816-522-4081 or email: [email protected]
The Kansas City Chapter of Missourian’s For Altenatives to the Death Penalty will meet Tuesday, November 7th from 6:30 to 8pm at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut, KCMO.
Mothers of Incarcerated Sons and Daughters will have their monthly meeting Saturday, November 11th from noon to 2pm at the Waldo Branch Library, 201 East 75th Street, KCMO If you have a loved one that is incarcerated and need advice and support MISD have members that may be able to help.
State Representative Brandon Ellington is again hosting the annual Basketball Tournament To Feed The Hungry and Voices of The People are hosting the 11th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
The Basketball tournament is to help provide food and give away items for the Community Thanksgiving Dinner and will be held Wednesday Nov 15th at the Brush Creek Community Center, 3801 Emmanual Cleaver 2 Blvd, KCMO. Team sign up starts 5 PM, games start at 6 PM, registration is 1 frozen turkey per player. Admission to game is at least four canned goods or 1 frozen Turkey, or slightly used or new clothing or toys.
The 11th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be held Wednesday November 22nd from 4-6 PM at the Brush Creek Community Center, 3801 Emmanual Cleaver 2 Blvd, KCMO. All are welcome to attend. If you would like to volunteer to help with either of these events you can contact Representative Ellington’s office at 573-751-3129 or email at [email protected]