Prompt Appointment

On December 2, 2010 the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Bill Ritter challenging the constituionality of a law requiring misdemeanor defendants to delay appointment of counsel until after they have spoken to a prosecutor about a plea deal.

Author/Organization: Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition
Publication Date: 12/02/2010

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Gideon Alert: Policies of prosecutor and judges close doors of Val Verde County (Del Rio, Texas) public defender

BY David Carroll on Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 6:29 PM

On October 10, 2010, the San Antonio News ran a feature article on the closing of Texas’ first regional public defender office.  The office served Val Verde, Kinney, Terrell, and Edwards counties, and had opened in 2006 as a division of Texas Rio Grande Legal Aide, Inc. (TRLA). 

Gideon Alert: MD Circuit Court finds right to counsel at bail hearings

BY David Carroll on Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:15 PM

On September 30, 2010, a Maryland Circuit Court determined that bail hearings are a critical stage of a criminal proceeding where an indigent person is entitled to be represented by an attorney.  The case, Richmond v. District Court of Maryland, involves eleven named petitioners who requested counsel at bail hearings and were denied.  They sought relief on behalf of themselves and all indigent persons denied counsel at such hearings.

Opinion holds that bail hearings are a "critical stage" and thus "indigent individuals have a right to counsel at bail hearings." By denying representation at those hearings, the district court violated defendants' due process rights.

Author/Organization: Hon. Alfred Nance, Circuit Court of Baltimore City
Publication Date: 09/30/2010

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

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On March 25, 1931, a fight broke out between a group of poor white and black youths aboard a freight train bound for Memphis, Tennessee via Huntsville, Alabama.   Outnumbered, all but one of the white young men was thrown off the train a short distance over the Alabama line, where they promptly alerted local law enforcement.

Author/Organization:
Publication Date: 2010

Through a long series of cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has defined when it is, between arrest and conclusion of a case, that an indigent person facing loss of liberty is entitled to have a lawyer be appointed and represent them – this is referred to as when the right of counsel attaches.  In 2008 in Rothgery v. Gillespie County , the Court made clear that the right to counsel attaches “at the initial appearance before a judicial officer,” by whatever name that hearing is known in a given jurisdiction, but “generally the hearing at which ‘the magistrate informs the defendant of the charge in the complaint, and of various rights in further proceedings,’ and ‘determine[s] the conditions for pretrial release.’” 

Author/Organization:
Publication Date: 2010

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

Between 2006 and 2008, NLADA conducted an assessment of the public defense services in ten upstate New York counties.  This is the report of the findings in Jefferson County, New York.

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Publication Date: 04/2009

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

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