Tag: evaluations of systems

The State of Illinois defaults on its constitutional right to counsel obligation

A new study shows there are two overarching reasons why the State of Illinois is defaulting on its constitutional right to counsel obligations. First, the state requires counties and courts to provide and predominantly fund indigent defense systems in a

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California’s lack of oversight adds to Santa Cruz County’s indigent defense woes

Pleading the Sixth: For decades, Santa Cruz County has delegated to private law firms, through county contracts, all decision-making about the provision of Sixth Amendment right to counsel services. The county cannot accurately say how many people or cases, and of

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Why the State of Texas is responsible for denying counsel to indigent people in Amarillo

Pleading the Sixth: More than 74% of all misdemeanor defendants in Potter County, Texas (Amarillo) face the possibility of jail time without the aid of a lawyer, due to sheriff’s deputies, county prosecutors, and trial court judges exerting direct, overt

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New report finds State of Michigan must take responsibility for deficient felony assigned counsel services in Wayne County (Detroit)

Pleading the Sixth: Forcing trial court judges to design and directly oversee the system that provides attorneys to represent indigent defendants always opens the door to the dangers of undue judicial interference with the right to counsel. This is the case

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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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