Steve Smith Is A Man Of Honor - And Response

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I urge all of my friends and colleagues to vote for Steve Smith for the office of Hamilton County district public defender. Steve is a man of honor who is well respected throughout the local court system. He is very knowledgeable of the law. He is a hard worker and is a firm believer in and is ready to fight for, the rights guaranteed to all Americans under the Constitution and its amendments, specifically the fourth, fifth and sixth amendments pertaining to individual liberty.

The current public defender leadership is akin to a ship without a rudder. It’s time to repair that rudder and put a new captain at the helm. I urge all the voters of Hamilton County to elect Steve Smith, district public defender, and correct the course of the Public Defender’s office.

I also urge all Tennessee voters to vote to retain our excellent Supreme Court justices who are all up for a retention vote. 

Hank Hill, Attorney at Law
Chattanooga 

* * * 

Under our system of law, we have created courts to resolve disputes.  These disputes can be between ordinary people, between corporations, or even between the government and its citizens.   The courts attempt to resolve these disputes by allowing both sides to present their views and to question the other side.  The court then makes a decision using the “rules” required by our law. 

As is often said, every story has two sides, with the truth often being somewhere in the middle.  When the court system works at its best, each side of the story is presented well, and the flaws of each story are exposed.  When the court, or a jury, can see the “whole picture,” with both the good and the bad points, our system is strengthened.  Indeed, without this ability, our system is worthless.  Good decisions should only be based on good information. 

Nowhere is this principle more true than in our criminal justice system.  The state holds and wields an awesome power.  It has the power to punish, to detain, and even to execute its citizens for violation of the law.  For any such system to have any legitimacy, we must know that the state’s “story” has been tested when it alleges that a person is guilty of a crime.  We must know that the story has been examined; that it has been questioned; and that its flaws, if any, have been revealed. 

The presence of a committed defense lawyer in this system is not just important—it is critical.  Although our culture often derides the defense lawyer, it is only because of dedicated defense lawyers that we can have confidence in our system.  When questions are raised about the state’s story—and then answered, or not, by the state—we can have confidence that our system is working as it should.  The system is not perfect, and mistakes are made.  When things work at their best, though, better decisions are made.

A good and dedicated public defender is especially important to our system.  Because we know that each story often has two sides, our system makes sure that those who cannot afford a voice are given the ability to speak.  Without a dedicated public defender working hard to make sure that these voices are heard, we could never have confidence that our system is making good decisions for the overwhelming number of cases that come before the court.  

In this sense, a dedicated public defender is a true calling.  As a society, and as a community, we must have someone in this office who has passion, dedication, and integrity.  

Steve Smith will be exactly the right person for this important office, and I am supporting his election.  Please consider lending him your support as well on Aug. 7 or during early voting on July 18–Aug. 2.

Tom Greenholtz


Roy Exum: From Private To General

It was quite a thing back in March, when Florida Gov. Rick Scott named Maj. Gen. Michael Calhoun to command the state’s National Guard. After all, not many who sign up as a “buck private” climb the ladder all the way to become the state’s Adjutant General, and when you add the fact the highly-respected Calhoun is an African-American, the story only gets better. But there is more: ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Only 2 Bradley County Commissioners Support 30-Cent Wheel Tax

After a lengthy debate, only two members of the Bradley County Commission voted in favor of a 30-cent wheel tax on Monday night. The measure needed 10 votes to pass. Several commissioners said a wheel tax would have certainly brought on a petition for a referendum and then defeat at the polls. Commissioner Jeff Yarber said the last wheel tax lost by 70 percent in a referendum. ... (click for more)

Agent Says Drug-Selling Traffic Was So Brisk Outside Brainerd Pill Mill That A Guard Was Necessary

An IRS agent testified Monday that so much drug peddling was going on outside a Brainerd "pill mill" that the owner had to hire a security guard. Scott Kennedy said all who went to the O'Neill Clinic got drugs from Dr. Ishaan Al-Amin, who earlier pleaded guilty to charges of illegally dispensing controlled substances and tax evasion. It was testified that in November 2011 ... (click for more)

Central Nips Hixson On Wild Pitch In 6-AA Baseball, 3-2

It was one of those games that could have gone either way. But when you get to the winners' bracket final in a district baseball tournament, you come to expect games like this. Hixson's Parker Tyo and Central's Bret Hardy hooked up in one of those classic pitcher's duals and both pitched well enough to win. But Hardy gets that honor after his Purple Pounder teammates scored ... (click for more)

Willingham Pitches Boyd-Buchanan Past Silverdale In 5-A Baseball

River Crowther allowed two runs on eight hits in five innings Monday afternoon, but all he has to show for an outstanding effort is a loss after his Silverdale Baptist Academy teammates came up short in a 2-1 winner's bracket final against host Boyd-Buchanan in the District 5-A baseball tournament. Crowther probably deserved a better fate, but he was one-upped by Buccaneer junior ... (click for more)