Adam Ruins Everything – Why the Public Defender System is So Screwed Up

Your Honor, Adam has presented his case Now, I deserve the chance
to present mine and set the record straight. Oooh. One of those twists
where Adam gets taught
something? Oh-ho, this has been done,
but I’ll allow it. (gasps)
What the– (chuckling) Oh wow. Adam, all your little
nit-picks so far have missed the point entirely. Of course,
the system isn’t perfect. But I know that firsthand
because I’m a public defender. Do you know what that is? Oh, well, I know
that a defendant must be provided counsel
as per the 1963 Supreme Court– No. Do you what it’s like
in reality? It means when someone
can’t afford counsel, we defend them. Over 80% of people
charged with a crime require our help. That’s why you’re always here. I, uh, just thought you were
really into wood paneling. The fact is the deck is stacked
against us and our clients in every single case. First of all, there’s just straight-up aren’t
enough of us doing this work. Because doing this job means
turning down a lucrative career. On average,
lawyers at big private firms earn up to double what we make. (buzzer) (cries out) It’s a very generous offer
but no. I’m going to help people. Aww, but I already to put
all the money in the brief case. Well, I guess it’s useless now. ♪♪ Instead, public defenders
earn peanuts and our case loads
are ridiculous. Oh, this is a lot of work
for one year. That’s just one week. Some of us have
over 2,000 cases a year. At that rate, it’s impossible to spend enough
time on each case. One public defender in Minnesota only had about
12 minutes per client. After review of the discovery, I believe we can
administrate a claim of innocence to the state
of prosecutorial misconduct and insufficient evidence. Huh? Sorry, I got another client. (Rhea)
In one case, a public defender had to represent multiple people
facing life sentences the same week
they passed the bar exam. (voice cracking)
Sir, I’m going to crack
prosecution’s case wide open. Also, can you buy me some beer? Holy crow,
why are you so under staffed? Because we’re also
under funded, especially compared
to the other side. (fingers snap) In California, for every one dollar
spent on the prosecution only 53 cents is spent
on indigent defense.

100 thoughts on “Adam Ruins Everything – Why the Public Defender System is So Screwed Up

  1. A friend of mine was told by a judge in court Friday he wasn't eligible for a public defender due to his income, is that not a constitutional right?

  2. California's public defender's system is not as bad as some parts of the country. The pay is livable, and the benefits are good. Additionally, many people become public defenders because they want to help people and also it brings with it a better quality of life. Big law jobs pay well, but considering that you have to work 12-14 hours a day to make your billable hours, you have very little free time. I have known quite a few lawyers who left big law firms to become public defenders because they wanted their life back.

  3. This is why so many minorities who might be innocent are in jail because they don't get adequate representation.

  4. Making Humour About Problems And Explaining And Clearifing Them With Humour İs Better Then Some People Whining.

  5. why is conover the only one getting credit for his role in these videos? i like him, but who are the rest of the people involved

  6. If I served on a jury. I would make sure I find everyone guilty. So now you know my personal view in why I should not be on a jury. Of course my state would think i would make a fine juror even though I am biased.

  7. That's very problematic because no one should be deprived of life and liberty without due process, and yet people (cough cough: Kalief Browder) spend months or even years in jail simply awaiting trail.

  8. Better call saul shows how little these guys get, but the main problem is actually that it’s what they are supposed to get, because they really aren’t the best lawyers otherwise they would get jobs with big companies

  9. Take every case to trial no matter the significance. The justice system would literally shut down in 3 days because they cannot keep up with the flow of mass incarcerations. If your case cannot be pushed into a court date within reasonable time your case can be dropped and you can be released. If you do go to trial remember the jury is selected by you and your lawyer and If you don't like the lawyer representing your case have him replaced. Your the one on trial not them. Watch how quickly the justice system collapse in on itself. Time to flip over their monopoly board.

  10. How to solve this problem. Step 1. Give all lawyers the same punishment as the clients they defend if they loose.

  11. My public defender was cool. Says I was offered a plea of the max sentence for my crime. They suggested I decline. I think he was right. 60 days later it was trial time. They offered time served, I took it, let out that day. If there is ever another court date for me, I'll get a jury. No bargains, because I got to tell every employer for 6 years I did a crime I didn't do. I guess if they want to spend 70 grand to give me the trial they owe me, go ahead. I always need an expense paid vacation.

  12. I think the two most underpaid jobs are teachers and public defenders… yet we pay college professors hundreds of thousands a year, just so they will spend most of their time complaining about the president on Twitter and skipping classes to protest conservative speakers.

  13. If you wanna go to prison get a public defender.
    They aren't there to protect you..they are there to guarantee the state a conviction

  14. Lawyers are a commodity. Of course Lawyers are understaff and underfunded even worse underpaid, what’s it really advocating here exactly? That we should raise their funds and pay them more so there is more public defenders? Sounds simple, but really Naive to think about it, since lawyers can just raise their prices making rich people nothing more but to sacrifice a few dimes to them.

    Unregulated commodities of lawyers can give the consumer the choice of picking the right lawyer, especially does who are experienced in some cases.

  15. wait, what?? Where can I get more information? I want to become a lawyer, but need more information, and the web isn't explaining the problems in the system well.

  16. The other interesting thing is how much outside help they get that might not be attributed to their budget. I mean entire police department out gathering evidence questioning witnesses on their behalf. If defense has a question they need to find these people and convince them themselves a badge goes a long way to making witness agree to meeting and answering questions.

    All this is topped of with fact while your in jail your life is falling apart guilty or not guilty. Think about it what would happen if today you dissapeared for year only able to communicate 5 minutes a week to friends family/lawyer. Instructing them how to transfer money or pay bills or run legal defense. How much of your life would fall apart would you still have a job a home if you lose your home what about your possessions I mean could you even afford a storage unit that long or have good enough friends to move it there.

    Not guilty you still lose everything you have in life up to that point. And here is the deal while the clocks ticking on your life they are badgering you to make/accept a plea deal. Now here is where it truly becomes disgusting. They will do two things first "secondary charges that might not stick" aka assaulting police officer its their word against yours or resisting arrest. They do these things so despite orginal crime which has maximum of 5yrs in jail they can try to stick you in for 80yrs. So when they offer you a plea deal for 4yrs you go hell yes regardless of guilt. Because if any of other crap sticks your still facing decades in prison why risk it. They also have punting tactics so if your not taking plea deal quick enough essentially they go we need more time to collect evidence and keep postponing trial to ensure a jury never sees you and essentially leverage you into taking the deal.

  17. Anyone who's been in the justice system knows that a public defender does nothing to build a case for you they work for the same people who get paid if you get found guilty the idea is great but the system is broke

  18. Actually, it really depends, private law firms employ experienced and "top of the class" lawyers, although public defenders are usually lawyers that just graduated. Most public defenders actually become private lawyers later in life

  19. ok then. absurdly high sentences, mandatory minimums, three strikes youre out, overcrowded prisons, drug war, solitary confinement, CCA/private prisons, and now underfunded public defenders? wow CCA is really trying to screw up our justice system
    (i'm not saying its just b/c of CCA but CCA did support many of these laws)

  20. My brother is a private practice defense attorney. He started his own firm. He’s expensive but he typically has one client at a time. Having one client at a time means you have his undivided attention and your case is the only one he cares about. He’s good. But good luck to most people when it comes to affording him.

  21. Perry Mason only worked because of Paul Drake, something the current system does not provide. Also, ALL convictions for marijuana should be overturned as the stuff people have been sent to prison for does not have the effects of the "drug" that was outlawed. This is a massive injustice caused by mis-identification, all for the purpose of maintaining a bureaucracy and the Nixonian persecution of blacks and Hispanics.

  22. I’m not surprised this is a thing in America considering the US government has the strongest army in the world yet they can’t even provide their citizens with free healthcare

  23. In the episode of Adam ruins guns, a defendant was given 20 years for killing her husband who was physically and mentally abusing her. Anyone who knows murder and voluntary manslaughter would have argued it's a classic case of loss of control which falls in the definition of voluntary manslaughter and based on first offence it could be 1-3 max(less if parole).As well it can even be reduced to self defence.

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