Friday, December 14, 2007

Public Defender

I had the great privilege of photographing one of Columbia's public defenders yesterday, my last shift on the Missourian. My photos accompanied a great story by Ryland Devero. This is a story I'm eager to return to next semester. I'm off to Seattle tomorrow (!)

Jenean Thompson, right, discusses possible sentences with Vanessa Bennett, at the Boone County Jail on Thursday. "Everyone has a constitutional right to adequate legal representation," Thompson said about the rising caseloads of public defenders. "But 'adequate' just isn't good enough for me."

The scene of an arson is one of the many stops Jenean Thompson, a Columbia public defender, made Thursday. Thompson stopped to consider the location of witness's window before returning to the office for an afternoon in court.

Jenean Thompson sees as many clients as she can before lunch at the Boone County Jail, which begins as early as 10:30. Public defenders are facing increasing caseloads, and must juggle the demands of client relationship with the mounting paperwork that accompanies new cases.

Jenean Thompson surveys the scene of a crime. Law enforcement officers are responsible for accurately documenting evidence, but there are cases where vital details go unreported.


Ryan Gladstone said...

the top two are nice.

An important story that will provide a visual challenge, no doubt.

Knox Harrington "The Video Artist" said...

I'm not sure how important the story is. You should ask Elan how this ranks in terms of social change.

That "woman" in the first shot looks like a dude.

Steve Bartel said...

Important story indeed, especially in a state as trigger-happy with Capital Punishment as Missouri. Public defenders are already overworked, and it's about to get worse? Color me concerned.

You might consider resizing the pictures - I'm losing the right edges. Also, have you considered black and white? I'm from the "if color doesn't add anything, lose it" school and I don't see any compelling reason to keep it from this edit, although another may be different.

Please stick with this one.