LETTER- Public Defender serves court, not clients

I'm writing this to offer a reply to Jim Hingeley's letter about the Public Defender's office ["Public Defender not inferior," December 13, 2007].

The reply offered by Hingeley to Lindsay Barnes' story ["Couple cleared: High-profile police brutality case ends," December 6] was simply quixotic. But the fact remains that as Richard Silva said, "anyone unable to afford an attorney would have to accept a guilty plea."

The true perpetuated misconception is that the Public Defender's office will help, not plea bargain every case. And yes, the attorneys at the Public Defender's office are hard-working, highly skilled, well-trained criminal defense specialists.

Hence there's no justification that 90 percent of all cases end in pleas. The high ethical standards and loyalties are to the courts and legal community, not to the indigent people who cannot afford attorneys.

Therefore, to say that a client who is unable to afford a private attorney will receive inferior representation is an understatement.

Shamsiddin Muhammad-abdullah