Tag: commissions

Indiana Task Force on Public Defense urges comprehensive reform

Pleading the Sixth: In October 2016, the 6AC released its evaluation of trial level right to counsel services in Indiana, detailing how and why the Indiana public defense system results in the actual and constructive denial of counsel to the indigent

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Withholding felony representation for months at a time in Mississippi

Pleading the Sixth: Felony defendants throughout Mississippi are arrested and then routinely wait from typically two months to up to a year before a lawyer begins working on their behalf. When a felony lawyer is finally appointed, the attorney is too

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Tennessee Supreme Court backs major right to counsel reforms

Pleading the Sixth: The Tennessee Supreme Court released a press statement announcing its unanimous support for comprehensive indigent defense reforms, including the creation of a statewide indigent defense commission and a state appellate defender office, and the first increase 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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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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