Author: David Carroll

Nevada creates and empowers a statewide indigent defense commission

Pleading the Sixth: After decades of public defense studies, legislative and supreme court right to counsel commissions, and numerous attempts at statutory indigent defense reform, the Nevada legislature has created a state commission to promulgate and enforce uniform standards statewide

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A lack of effectiveness and financial oversight define Maine’s right to counsel system

Maine state outline map

Pleading the Sixth: Maine is the only state in the country that provides all indigent defense services through private attorneys. There are two principal reasons that other states have moved away from using solely private attorneys. First, it is difficult to

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Oregon’s complex bureaucracy obscures just another fixed fee system

Pleading the Sixth: Oregon stands as a cautionary tale regarding indigent defense reform. Often extolled (including by this author) as a working model that provides effective public defense services through a statewide system of contracts, a new comprehensive evaluation by

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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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The devolution of the right to counsel in Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit)

Pleading the Sixth: A public defender office handling felony representation in Detroit was flat funded for 16 years. This despite a critical national report, an ACLU lawsuit, and comprehensive statutory reform, all intended to ensure effective representation of the indigent accused

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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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