Case News, DREAM News, Community News
Seattle AFDs Victorious in Detention Appeal!
Paige Thompson, a transgender person, incarcerated while she faces trial for one of the largest data beaches in United States history was released on bond by the Honorable Robert S. Lasnik. Ms. Thompson had been detained by the magistrate judge and had spent approximately three months in the male general population at the Federal Detention Center in Sea Tac. Judge Lasnik releasing her was a testament to the Court’s appreciation of the dangers and hardships faced by transgender persons in the public and specifically in the prison system. Although the Court was aware of some of these hardships from experience, Ms. Thompson’s legal team, made up of individuals from the Federal Defender’s Office and outside counsel, individualized those hardships as to Ms. Thompson. In addition, her team worked feverishly to put together a release plan that convinced the Court that releasing her is the most equitable outcome. Justice prevailed on that day. The legal victory was especially possible due to the remarkable efforts of Seattle paralegals, Charlotte Ponikvar, Michael Larson, Suzie Strait, and Donna Maxwell.
A DREAM participant graduated from the program in November, one year after entering the program. She used her time in DREAM to not only address her addiction, but to pursue her education, work towards physical health and strength, find a new social group, and develop confidence. She hopes to continue her education at a four-year university and pursue a career in engineering. We wish her all the best and thank her for all of her contributions to the program. Congrats!
Seattle AFDs Vicki Lai and Andy Kennedy volunteered their time this month at University of Washington Law School. The two helped review resumes and advised students whom are interested in pursuing careers in public defense. The event was sponsored by The Association for Student Defenders and Prosecutors (ASDP). The mission of ASDP is to improve the quality of criminal justice in Washington State and bring together students and criminal law practitioners. The students were appreciative of the opportunity to have their resumes reviewed and to talk with members from our office about getting that first internship and/or job in public defense. Vicki and Andy thoroughly enjoyed talking with and helping the very engaged students. Thanks Vicki and Andy!