Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans will host a special Facebook Live Town Hall panel discussion entitled, “Balancing the Scales of Justice in Wayne County: The Office of Public Defense Services Will Improve the Criminal Justice System” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 27, according to a press release.
Joining Executive Evans for the panel discussion will be Robin Dillard Russaw, Director of the Office of Public Defense Services (OPDS); James Heath, Corporation Counsel, Viola King, Assigned Counsel Administrator for OPDS; Angela Peterson, Attorney Administrator, Investigator/Expert Program. The program will be moderated by Keith A. Owens, Director of Communications for Constituent Relations.
Criminal justice is not simply about incarceration or punishment.
Criminal justice is about making sure that the scales of justice are evenly balanced, affording those with the least amount of resources access to fair, adequate and competent representation in court. A recognition of the long overdue need for improvement is what prompted Wayne County Executive Warren Evans to lead the effort in creating the Office of Public Defense Services.
For years, Wayne County – like so many other urban communities – struggled with the numerous difficulties and devastating consequences posed by an overburdened court system. In this system, the rights of poor people charged with committing a crime are far more likely to be trampled and overrun. If a defendant is poor and Black or brown, then the situation becomes noticeably worse.
The creation of OPDS is designed to address these longstanding issues.
Those wishing to join the conversation on the Wayne County Executive’s Facebook page can click here.