Tag: independence – political interference

DOJ recommendations for Shelby County, TN place financial burden on the county; Task Force would place responsibility on the state

Pleading the Sixth: For nearly five years, the U.S. Department of Justice has been trying to improve the representation of children in delinquency proceedings in Shelby County (Memphis), Tennessee. As the DOJ seeks to put more indigent defense funding responsibilities on

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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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North Carolina’s independence issue exposed

Pleading the Sixth: Not all statewide commissions are equal. For many years, the North Carolina Commission for Indigent Defense Services has been upheld as an example of how best to create a statewide public defender commission. After all, when it

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Wyoming public defender budget woes intensifying with increase in capital cases

Pleading the Sixth: The cost of providing competent death penalty representation is expensive due in no small part to the additional Sixth Amendment responsibilities placed on states by the U.S. Supreme Court. Because of this, even well-structured right to counsel

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New Mexico becomes 20th state with independent public defense commission

Pleading the Sixth: On April 5, 2013, the Governor of New Mexico signed a public defender commission bill into law signaling the end of the political practices that led to instability in the chief public defender position. Will this day

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