Defending the poor in court

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Victoria Vicky Buckwalter, case investigator in the Stark County Public Defender's office. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)

In defense of needy

Name: Victoria M. Buckwalter. Age: 55.

Hometown: Akron

Position: Case investigator in Stark County Public Defender’s Office since 1998 and pursues questionable convictions. She was a challenger to the Portage County convictions of Bob Gondor and Randy Resh in a 1988 Randolph Township murder. The convictions were overturned and both men are free. She continues to support the effort to free Portage County death-row inmate Tyrone Noling.

“The Declaration of Independence affords us certain rights. Among those rights are: ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ Sometimes those rights are taken in one fell swoop, as in the cases of Randy Resh, Bob Gondor and Tyrone Noling …”

“Someone must advocate for these individuals, who have no voice from behind the prison walls. Someone must try to ensure that this doesn’t happen again to someone else — maybe a loved one or a relative.

“Some may think there is a small percentage of those who have unjustly lost their inalienable rights, but when it’s you, it is 100 percent.

“To quote Edmund Burke: ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ ”


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