A lack of effectiveness and financial oversight define Maine’s right to counsel system

Maine state outline map

Pleading the Sixth: Maine is the only state in the country that provides all indigent defense services through private attorneys. There are two principal reasons that other states have moved away from using solely private attorneys. First, it is difficult to

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Assembly line pretrial representation in Delaware results in denial of right to counsel

In a decision that sounds a warning bell for public defense systems throughout the country, the Delaware Supreme Court has held that “[t]he Sixth Amendment requires more than the physical presence of counsel the first day of trial in a serious

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Oregon’s complex bureaucracy obscures just another fixed fee system

Pleading the Sixth: Oregon stands as a cautionary tale regarding indigent defense reform. Often extolled (including by this author) as a working model that provides effective public defense services through a statewide system of contracts, a new comprehensive evaluation by

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Indiana Task Force on Public Defense urges comprehensive reform

Pleading the Sixth: In October 2016, the 6AC released its evaluation of trial level right to counsel services in Indiana, detailing how and why the Indiana public defense system results in the actual and constructive denial of counsel to the indigent

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Report released evaluating the right to counsel in rural Nevada

Pleading the Sixth: Remote population centers across great geographic expanses, a paucity of attorneys, limited social services, almost no public transportation, restricted tax bases, and non-lawyer judges in misdemeanor courts, are just some of the problems states often face while

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Federal committee recommends independence of the defense function

Pleading the Sixth: Kept under wraps since being issued in November 2017, the report of the committee appointed by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts to study the provision of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel in the federal courts

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