Defense attorney in Drejka case willing to stand on principle

Ernest Hooper writes that Theresa Jean-Pierre Coy, who helped represent Michael Drejka, believes everyone deserves a good defense.
Left to Right: Defense attorney Theresa Jean-Pierre Coy and defendant Michael Drejka pause during a break in his manslaughter trial on Friday. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
Left to Right: Defense attorney Theresa Jean-Pierre Coy and defendant Michael Drejka pause during a break in his manslaughter trial on Friday. SCOTT KEELER | Times
Published August 26
Updated August 26

Attorney Theresa Jean-Pierre Coy agreed to help represent Michael Drejka, the man convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of Markeis McGlockton, because she believes.

The African-American attorney believes in the judicial system. She believes everyone deserves a good defense. She believes in principle.

Jean-Pierre Coy, who worked the case pro-bono, received criticism from some in the African-American community, from those who convicted Drejka before the trial, and from those who have taken the Florida Bar oath and should know better. In such a racially-charged case, it’s not a complete surprise.

But in a Facebook post, Jean-Pierre Coy said people need to understand, “one who vigorously challenges the system is not condoning a crime or the person who committed it. But rather, is attempting to make that system more fair for those it seeks to hurt the most.”

Really, Jean-Pierre Coy stood with Drejka not just as a criminal defense attorney, but as a profile in courage. We need more people in this world willing to stand on principle.

Seen on a bumper sticker: Trapped In The Amber of The Moment. …

Tampa Bay Job Links will partner with the Nonprofit Leadership Center to stage a Job-Search Boot Camp on Wednesday. Boot Camp? Visit (813) 344-0200 or email rsvp@TBJL.org for more information.

The Cross Bay Ferry appears poised to lock in a two-year seasonal stay. That’s great news for those of us who celebrate both sides of the region. Spoil yourself and take it all in.

That’s all I’m saying.

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