Category: Pleading the Sixth

Will the Virgin Islands finally end the practice of conscripting non-qualified lawyers to represent the indigent accused?

Pleading the Sixth: Although the Virgin Islands has a territorial public defender office, trial court administrative rules historically authorized judges to conscript any attorney barred in the territory – divorce lawyers and real estate lawyers included – to provide representation

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New York caseload standards announced and their importance to statewide reform explained

Pleading the Sixth: In early April 2017, the New York governor’s office and legislature reached a historic legislative agreement. The state of New York is already committed to pay for the systemic reforms promulgated pursuant to the settlement agreement in

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Flaws in West Virginia indigent defense system result in non-lawyer representing indigent defendants

Pleading the Sixth: In Logan County, West Virginia, a recent law school graduate who never passed the bar exam was allowed to represent the indigent accused in misdemeanor court. This is an obvious violation of the Sixth Amendment right to

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The Idaho Supreme Court says Strickland is “inapplicable” to remedying systemic indigent defense deficiencies; reinstates ACLU lawsuit

Pleading the Sixth: On April 28, 2017, the Idaho Supreme Court reinstated the ACLU lawsuit that alleges wide-ranging systemic deficiencies in the state’s provision of indigent defense services. Finding that the lower court erred in requiring defendants to suffer the actual

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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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