Category: Pleading the Sixth

Systemic right to counsel failures cannot be resolved in case-by-case reviews

Pleading the Sixth: In America, the indigent accused has a constitutional right to be represented by an effective lawyer at all critical stages of a case where loss of liberty is a potential penalty. But what if that lawyer is

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Tennessee Supreme Court Task Force recommends complete overhaul of right to counsel services

Pleading the Sixth: Recognizing that the State of Tennessee needs a better way of providing right to counsel services, in September 2015 former Chief Justice Sharon Lee created an Indigent Representation Task Force and challenged them to “build a better mousetrap.”

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DOJ recommendations for Shelby County, TN place financial burden on the county; Task Force would place responsibility on the state

Pleading the Sixth: For nearly five years, the U.S. Department of Justice has been trying to improve the representation of children in delinquency proceedings in Shelby County (Memphis), Tennessee. As the DOJ seeks to put more indigent defense funding responsibilities on

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New ACLU lawsuit: Washington State fails to ensure effective delinquency representation

Pleading the Sixth: In a new lawsuit, the ACLU of Washington alleges that the right to counsel system for juveniles facing delinquency proceedings in Grays Harbor is so constitutionally deficient that the State of Washington must take action.

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Nevada Chief Justice: “We must do better at providing representation to rural defendants.”

Pleading the Sixth: In his State of the Judiciary address, Nevada’s Chief Justice decried the growing justice gap in right to counsel services between urban and rural jurisdictions in his state. Announcing that rural counties simply cannot shoulder the state’s

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Should non-lawyer judges be sending people to jail? SCOTUS asked to review

Pleading the Sixth: In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the 14th Amendment permits non-lawyer judges to impose jail time so long as the defendant has the ability to get a do-over in front of a judge who is

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