Category: Pleading the Sixth

Missouri Governor shows why indigent defense crisis will not be fixed without defender independence

Pleading the Sixth: When the Missouri Public Defender, Michael Barrett, appointed the Governor to represent an accused indigent defendant, it brought national attention to the state’s longstanding underfunding of right to counsel services. Now, after a local judge ruled Barrett

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An Open Letter to the Next Missouri Governor

Pleading the Sixth: On August 2, 2016 the Missouri State Public Defender appointed the Governor to represent an indigent defendant. Whereas, the sitting Governor is term-limited out, the 6AC turns to the two major party nominees with an overview of

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State of New York to provide full state funding of 6th Amendment right to counsel

Pleading the Sixth: On June 17, 2016, the New York Assembly passed a bill requiring full state funding of indigent defense services, after the Senate passed the measure the previous night. Will Governor Cuomo sign it into law?

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SCOTUS decision exposes unequal justice for Native Americans

Pleading the Sixth: On June 13, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court held that prior uncounselled tribal court convictions resulting in jail time can be used to enhance penalties on subsequent offenses in federal courts. Wait! Isn’t that the exact opposite conclusion the Court

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Calm down; the New Mexico Supreme Court did not say flat-fee contracts are always constitutional

Pleading the Sixth: Though press reports are generally touting a recent New Mexico Supreme Court opinion as declaring flat fee contracting to be constitutional, the reality is more nuanced. The 6AC walks the reader through the historical background for the

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Louisiana’s right to counsel problems explained

Pleading the Sixth: The aims of public safety are in conflict with the need for law enforcement to generate indigent defense revenue in Louisiana. But as Louisiana’s problems have become a major focal point of America’s broader right to counsel

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