• JoAnne Lucas



Listen up, all you possible perps, last month’s speaker was Melody Walcott, a former public defender for the federal court. She’s the gal who can give you the lay of the land if you’re arrested on national park land.

Our national parks have their fair share of shady types. Trouble is, most of the bad guys are usually park employees. Anything that happens in a national park, becomes a federal offense . . . so watch yourself and stow that litter away properly.

Other crimes committed in this fertile atmosphere include guns & drugs, child porn, sex trafficking, robbery, rape . . . just your normal Saturday night stuff. Oh, and yeah – fraud is a federal offense, so ditch any plans for a slick game of Three-card Monte and/or the selling of that Brooklyn Bridge to naïve park visitors.

Other things good to know:

  1. Hope your public defender is on good terms with the judge. Judges are not recused like in state or civil courts, so be polite each and every time you appear before a federal judge.

  2. Federal public defenders like to give an extra half hour of time in the initial interview with female clients – those women just have to talk and talk about their life, family, and why all this is not their fault.

  3. Know you are not going to sit in on the discussion between the prosecuting attorney and your defender regarding deals and/or counts & degrees being brought against you. All that is mostly a drama thing; TV stories thrown in to up the ante.

  4. And last, Gary Stayner (murdered three tourists) was tried by a federal court because he committed his terrible crimes on Yosemite National Park grounds.

Remember, Smokey the Bear is watching you.

Thanks, Melody.


© 2023 by Name of Site. Proudly created with