Tag: commissions

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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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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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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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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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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