I forgot about this and it’s been sitting in my drafts for aaaaages. Anyway. A story from when Sparkly was working as a public defender.
Sparkly had a disabled client today, at eir internship with the Public Defender’s office. And it sounds like they handled it pretty well.
The client was hard of hearing, so Sparkly had to go and find a sign language interpreter, and then it turned out the client wasn’t really fluent in sign either, so it took the interpreter a while to figure out how to phrase things so the client could understand.
But apparently the judge was very patient, despite a reputation for not being patient with anyone, and Sparkly’s coworker (who did the actual representation) stood up for her client (who had at least been able to communicate “I didn’t do it”) when it would have been easier to just plead guilty. Sparkly said ey was impressed by that, and thought it was an important example of good ethics.
It would be better if communicating through an interpreter wasn’t a big hassle and time sink to organize. But it seems like everyone involved was willing to go through that hassle if that’s what it took to give good representation, and I think that’s a positive sign. There’s a strong emphasis on making sure all the defendants know what’s going on, know what they’re accused of, know their rights, etc. in the normal procedure they follow, and it’s really good to see people caring about that ideal even when it means going beyond the normal procedure in terms of time and effort.