We have paid, or caused to be paid, a wide range of fees for the legal defense of parricides. On the high end, legal defense has carried a price-tag of $250,000. On the low end, pro bono representation has carried a price-tag of zero, but “out-of-pocket” expenses have varied from several thousand dollars to $45,000. And we’re only talking about the money involved.
Quality of representation is another question altogether.
I have worked with the best and the worst lawyers, and several steps in-between. I am not claiming to have seen it all, but I assure you: there’s no comparison between the best defense attorney and the typical court-appointed lawyer. I even encountered one guy who got a court to agree to a fee of $40,000 (which is high), but who had not (after months of being this boy’s attorney) even visited his client because the court would not reimburse his auto mileage to the jail and back.
Most parricides are understandably indigent and must rely on court-appointed counsel, who I wouldn’t hire to handle a divorce, let alone the defense of a kid’s life and future. The cynic in me wonders if the poor quality of court-appointed representation isn’t part of many courts’ plans to see parricides committed to the hell of The System, which treats everyone as a criminal (because that’s the only thing it knows how to do).
My own belief is that most kids who kill a parent aren’t criminals at all. They are victims of either unspeakable abuse and have a right to self-defense, or they are mentally unhinged because they’ve taken psychotropic medications that some irresponsible doctor has given out like candy on trick-or-treat night. Once the abuser is out of the picture, parricides rarely go on to reoffend in any way.
That’s a long way of saying that there’s a big problem with business-as-usual. Parricides deserve a second chance and an opportunity to heal. They deserve a first-class defense in every case.
That is why The Redemption Project has allied itself with the Des Moines IA law firm of Kutmus, Pennington and Hook, the firm that successfully represented Noah Crooks in his recent case. They are one of the best legal defense firms in the country. Bill Kutmus and Trever Hook have expressed their willingness to travel anyplace in the US where they are needed, and to charge us (or the parricides’ families) reasonable, non-confiscatory fees for first class representation. They, like us, do not believe that justice in America should go to the highest bidder. They have agreed to develop the defense of parricides as a sub-specialty of their legal practice.
Says Trevor Hook: “The eclipse of juvenile justice spread throughout the United States is unique to the world’s most developed nation, for we rely on warehousing children as though they are chattel. They are kids!”
From this day forward, regardless of the jurisdiction in which our kids find themselves, Kutmus, Pennington and Hook will be our first call for help. In every case, they will bring to the defense of parricides the kind of competence, decency, and level-headedness that we have come to associate the Midwest in all things.
Groove of the Day