Funding

Gideon Alert: MN judge will not let PDs out of open cases, but authorizes office to hire attorneys and bill state

BY David Carroll on Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 9:20 AM

On April 13, 2010, Gideon Alerts reported on Minnesota Public Defenders filing a labor grievance over high caseloads.  An 89-page report from the state legislative auditor states that heavy public defender workload impedes the efficiency of the courts, yet the legislature has not acted to provide relief. 

Gideon Alert: Missouri prosecutors call for shutting down the state public defender office

BY David Carroll on Monday, August 16, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Our American system of justice presumes that law enforcement officials are human, and thus fallible.  Despite the overall dedication and professionalism of the hundreds of thousands of citizens employed in the police and prosecution functions in this country, it is simply impossible to always arrest and prosecute the right defendant for the right crime in every single instance.  If errorless law enforcement existed, there would be no need for a jury of one’s peers to weigh the evidence in a case before an impartial judge.

Gideon Alert: Transparency in Federal Criminal Justice Grants

BY David Carroll on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Louisiana has a decentralized form of government.  With the ratification of the 1974 Louisiana Constitution, local subdivisions – known as parishes – were empowered with broad home rule authority, reversing the traditional concept of local government as a “creature of the state” possessing only delegated authority.  Locally elected governing boards (“police juries”) hold broad home rule authority, but their authority is disbursed across both the legislative and administrative functions such that there is no strong local administrative officer (e.g., a county manager).  The result is that, in most parishes, the Sheriff is the elected official who exerts the most control over local functions.

Gideon Alert: Prosecutor calls Missouri PD workload crisis a "contrivance" as more attorneys turn back cases

BY David Carroll on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 2:47 PM

On July 29, 2010, the St. Louis Today reported that public defenders in that city are considering refusing new cases, as their colleagues at the Missouri State Public Defenders (MSPD) have already done in Springfield and Troy.  The news story also reports that the prosecuting attorney calls the whole public defender caseload issue “contrived” because prosecutors handle a far greater percentage of cases than do public defenders.

The Spangenberg Group ssesses the workload crisis in Missouri, measuring each of the actions of the Missouri State Public Defender aganist the American Bar Associations'Eight Guidelines of Public Defense Workload.

Author/Organization: The Spangenberg Group
Publication Date: 07/29/2009

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The Spangenberg Group, under the auspices of the American Bar Association, Bar Information Program, assess the public defender workload crisis.

Author/Organization: The Spangenberg Group
Publication Date: 06/01/1993

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Early recommendations to the Missouri State Legislature to improve right to counsel services in that state.

Author/Organization: Missouri Public Defender Commission
Publication Date: 09/01/1979

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Gideon Alert: The continued devolution of Georgia’s indigent defense system leads to case-by-case fixes with mixed results

BY David Carroll on Monday, July 12, 2010 at 5:04 PM

A consent decree issued by a northern Georgia Superior Court on July 8, 2010 in a class action lawsuit should be cause for celebration.  But in this instance, it really serves as a reminder of the continuing devolution of Gideon’s promise that is taking place i

Consent decree in the Cantwell v. Crawford class action lawsuit brought by the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) against the Director of the Georgia Public Defense Standards Council (GPDSC) alleging a systemic denial of counsel due to budget constraints. Decree requires appointment of counsel with 24-hours, workload controls and adherence to performance standards.

Author/Organization: Superior Court Judge, Augusta Judicial Circuit, State of Georgia
Publication Date: 07/08/2010

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