There’s never been a better time in America to rob a liquor store. If you’re poor and you want to commit a federal-level crime, this is The Golden Age Of Opportunity to lift yourself up by your gun-holster straps.
The New York Times is reporting that the federal public defender system is buckling under cost-cutting pressure from The Sequester. In 2014, public defender offices are expected to reduce staff by 30 to 50 percent. And since 90 percent of federal defendants qualify for court-appointed lawyers, the case-log backup is expected to be huge.
This is a fantastic opportunity for you, the budding low-income criminal. In the past, your case would’ve gone something like this:
Monday: Rob the liquor store. Get arrested. Get assigned a public defender.
Friday: Show up in court and then head off to jail.
But soon it’ll go like this:
Monday: Sprint out the liquor store holding a case of Boone’s Farm Strawberry. The police arrest you and tell you “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” At this point you smile, crack the Boones Farm open, and take a huge celebratory swig. Because the next stage is:
2020: Your case finally comes to trial. Your public defender is sleeping in the pew next to you because he’s been working 90-hour weeks. When he wakes up he walks up to the judge and says that you’ve been denied the right to a fair-and-speedy trial. You’re now free to go steal more Boones Farm Strawberry for a follow-up celebration.
I guess this all makes sense. If rich guys on Wall Street get to dodge jail, why shouldn’t you? But don’t thank me, I’m just the messenger. Thank the folks in DC who are creating a fake debt crisis to get your vote by scaring you.