Tag: denial of right to counsel

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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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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Actual denial of counsel & government tyranny

Pleading the Sixth: On May 13, 2015, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a first-ever hearing on the failure of state, county and local courts to appoint lawyers to the indigent accused, as is their Constitutional duty. As the 6AC

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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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Federal Court orders Washington cities to remedy willfully deficient right to counsel services

Pleading the Sixth: A U.S. District Court found in early December that two Washington cities are responsible for the systemic deficiencies depriving the indigent accused of their constitutional right to meaningful representation. In granting injunctive relief, the Court determined the

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US DOJ investigating St. Louis family courts

Pleading the Sixth: Having reached an agreement with Shelby County, Tennessee to usher in major reforms of the county’s juvenile court system and the method for representing children in delinquency proceedings, the US Department of Justice announced in mid-November that

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