Tom Green County, TX: Indigent Defense

In San Angelo, Texas, Civil Rights Corps is challenging the discriminatory retaliation that defense attorneys face from prosecutors and judges. When our client, defense attorney Patricia Stone, saw how her clients were being unfairly railroaded into taking guilty pleas, she sought to challenge the practice directly. She argued that the plea bargaining system violates the Texas Constitution, but the district attorneys of Tom Green County did not want to answer that argument in court.

Now the district attorneys are forcing Patricia to agree in writing that she personally believes plea bargaining is constitutional in every case in which she appears as counsel. This policy is a violation of her First Amendment rights and is another display of defense attorneys being punished for fighting for their clients.