Sunday, November 30, 2014

SunRail riders, your help is needed

Calling all SunRail riders, a local official needs our help.

Bob Wesley, Public Defender for Orange and Osceola County, has a big problem. He’s running out of clothes to give defendants that his lawyers represent in court. Everyone the Public Defender represents is needy and many defendants don’t have anything better than a T-shirt and jeans to wear for court proceedings. Clearly that’s not appropriate attire for serious business. Research shows that juries can be adversely affected by a defendant’s attire.

In this country, everybody is innocent until they’re proven guilty. Cases need to be decided by the facts, not by what a defendant looks like.

So here’s the big ask: Do you have some clean, gently worn clothes in your closet that you’re not planning to use anymore. If so, would you consider donating those items?
Specifically the Public Defender’s Office needs slacks, jackets, dress shirts, dress pants, and professional dresses in all sizes for men, women and children. (Please no swim suits or ball gowns. Believe it or not, people have donated such items in the past.)

Bob and his lawyers will be collecting the clothes this coming Saturday in front of the Orange County Courthouse in downtown Orlando, but since SunRail doesn’t run on weekends, we’ll collect them this coming Friday at the southbound Church Street SunRail station between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

If you can help, that will be great.  You’ll be able to spot us on Friday, we’ll be in the station with a stack of clothes. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.

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