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Letters: In defense of public defenders

December 12, 2012

Re "Improbable redemption," Opinion, Dec. 9

Although I applaud Michael Krikorian's seemingly successful battle against alcoholism, I must take issue with his simplistic and disparaging comment regarding attorneys who work for the public defender's office. Specifically, he opines that he avoided a potential prison sentence because he was white and because his father could pay for a private attorney.

As an attorney with the L.A. County Public Defender's Office, I know that our lawyers are some of the most highly skilled, extensively trained, experienced and passionate advocates in the criminal justice system. Promoting the stereotype of the lazy public defender is not only wrong, it is harmful. Many times I have seen families use up their savings to hire a private attorney, only to have that attorney come in and ask me or one of my colleagues what we think should be done on the case.

I would ask Krikorian to be more careful the next time he makes such generalizations.

Jean Burke

Pasadena

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