Tag: Case Law – US Supreme Court

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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Pennsylvania Supreme Court recognizes indigent defendants’ right to sue before receiving ineffective representation

Pleading the Sixth: On September 28, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that indigent defendants have the right to challenge systemic deficiencies at the outset of a case before having to suffer from actual or constructive denial of counsel. Moreover, the

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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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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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Why our misdemeanor courts are filled with uncounselled defendants

Pleading the Sixth: On the eve of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the denial of counsel in our nation’s lower courts, here are four reasons people accused of misdemeanors go to jail everyday without speaking to a lawyer, and four

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ACLU files federal 6th Amendment class action lawsuit against a Mississippi County

Pleading the Sixth: On September 23, 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a complaint in U.S. District Court alleging that Scott County, Mississippi routinely detains felony defendants pre-trial without bail while failing to appoint counsel until after formal

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