John Oliver Enlists Onscreen Cops Dennis Quaid, Regina King and More for Updated Miranda Warnings
"A bad judge can come and go, as the head of programming at NBC will tell you, but access to a lawyer is supposed to be a constitutional right, and it is increasingly under threat."
Public defenders, or "the only people who have been to court more frequently than former child stars," are incredibly overworked, sometimes representing up to 1,000 felonies a year, John Oliver outlined on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. With an average of three cases a day and only seven minutes to prepare a defense, publicly-funded attorneys are handling caseloads that equal "Gerard Depardieu wine-drinking numbers ... at breakfast."
Various counties have resorted to other means, including crowdfunding campaigns to help cover budgets or "meet 'em and plead 'em" programs that encourage defendants to plea bargains. Even more so, a person living on food stamps can still not qualify for a publicly-funded attorney. "You can't tell people it's free and then charge people for it -- this isn't Candy Crush!"
"A bad judge can come and go, as the head of programming at NBC will tell you," he said, referencing the now-canceled Kate Walsh comedy, "but access to a lawyer is supposed to be a constitutional right, and it is increasingly under threat."
Leave it to Oliver to bring attention to the issue, by uniting onscreen cops like Dennis Quaid, Regina King, Josh Lucas, Sonja Sohn and Jeremy Sisto to help read a revised, more accurate version of the Miranda warnings, which closes with Quaid saying, "Basically, you're f----ed."
Watch the video below.