Op-Ed: Accused Need Fair Defense (Albany Times-Union)
By Corey Stoughton — Kimberly Hurrell-Harring made a mistake. The mother of two was bullied by her jailbird husband into bringing a small amount of marijuana to him in prison. She got caught and, unable to afford a private lawyer on her meager nurse's salary, she turned to New York's public defense system to provide her with legal representation. Kimberly knew she was in trouble, and she was willing to face the consequences. But she did not bargain for a court-appointed lawyer who would allow her to be convicted of a crime more serious than the one she actually committed. Because of her lawyer's mistakes, this mother with no prior criminal record spent four unnecessary months in jail and lost her nurse's license, her job and her home.