The Attorney General's office has a conflict of interest defending claims of ineffective assistance made against a former defense counsel who is currently working as a state prosecutor, and especially when the case pointing out the claim is the one he left to become a prosecutor. Why would an AG be willing to damage the reputation of someone currently serving as a Commonwealth's Attorney?
I would like to create a new legal dictionary for defendants, starting with:
Colloquy n: - a con game played on the defendant by the court to protect the everyone in the legal justice system from having misconduct exposed, especially defense lawyers who didn't really work the case, and prosecutors who abused their power, from ever being exposed or held accountable.
Regarding a colloquy surrounding a plea agreement, it's reasonable that a judge who is considering accepting a guilty plea, should verify that the defendant understands that they are waiving their right to a jury trial. It's not reasonable to ask a defendant to evaluate their satisfaction with their defense counsel in that setting and at that point in time. It's not reasonable to expect a defendant to fully understand the extent that they are limiting their future legal options. It is not reasonable to expect the defendant to tell the court they are dissatisfied with their attorney when doing so will bring immediate negative consequences of unknown magnitude.
The scope and timing of the Judge administering the Colloquy for a plea is unfair to defendant for a number of reasons.
The first problem with the colloquy is if the defendant has had more than one attorney on the case, it only asks about your current attorney, it doesn't ask about the defense lawyer who had been replaced after doing irreparable damage to their client, like in Katie's case where dereliction of duty he allowed Katie to falsely incriminate herself.
The second problem with the colloquy is that it asks the defendant prematurely to decide on satisfaction of services before the real results of the attorney's services an be honestly evaluated.
The third problem with the colloquy is there are always unknown and immediate negative consequences for the defendant who states they are NOT satisfied. The defendant who answers they are not satisfied is 1) guaranteed to spend more time in jail, and 2) has no way to quantity how much more jail time that will result, 3) will have to start over with another attorney who could possibly be worse, 4) have no opportunity to determine if a new attorney would be any better, and 5) uninformed about things their current attorney could possibly do to retaliate if they answer honestly and complain in front of the judge. 6) The colloquy asks a defendant to make a decision without properly understanding the full consequences of that decision, 7) Defendants are not given any objective guidelines or standards by which to evaluate their attorney.
Analogy: The timing of the colloquy occurring before sentencing is like asking a student to evaluate if their teacher taught them everything they were supposed to know, and if the teacher raised their knowledge to the appropriate level, without giving them any procedural or objective guidelines on how to measure what they have actually learned. The student must give that teacher evaluation publicly in front of the principle with the teacher standing beside the student, before any grades for the class will be issued, before knowing whether or not they will pass or fail the class, or what their grade will actually be, but knowing for sure that if they express dissatisfaction, if their answer includes any negative criticism whatsoever, they will personally be negatively impacted without any way of knowing to what extent, and having no way to assess that imminent negative impact, but expecting that it could be quite severe. The student is not informed, and therefore does not understand, that if he gives a favorable evaluation it will become irreversible, and cannot be withdrawn, even if he discovers afterward the teacher deceived him and acted fraudulently, and intentionally taught false information such that the student never even received the education they had paid for.