Public Defense Reform

On July 26, 2010, Laurence Tribe, Senior Counsel for the United States Department of Justice, Access to Justice Initiative spoke to the Conference of Chief Justices at their annual conference in Vail, Colorado. The speech highlights the failure of our state courts to protect fairness for people of insufficient means in both the civil and criminal courts. Specific recommendations are made regarding what Chief Justices should do.

Author/Organization: Laurence Tribe
Publication Date: 07/26/2010

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Gideon Alert: Wyoming tries 85-90% of all juveniles as adults

BY David Carroll on Monday, July 19, 2010 at 1:06 PM

"Unlike any other state in the nation, Wyoming commonly prosecutes children as criminals, imposing adult sentences for misbehavior more typical of normal adolescence than criminal.  At significant cost to Wyoming taxpayers, children as young as eight years old who get in trouble for such transgressions as smoking at school, drinking at a weekend party, stealing a pack

Published at 22 St. Thomas L. Rev. 204 (Fall 2009). Bennett Brummer argues: " My basic premise is that defender excessive workload is a systemic problem, not ony an indigent defense problem.  Excessive workload could not persist without the active and conscious dereliction of stewardship obligations by state and federal goverenments and criminal justice stakeholders.  The complicity of judges, the bar, prosecutors, defenders and funders and the violation of their oaths to support the constitution are required for excessive workload to become the norm."

Author/Organization: Bennett H. Brummer
Publication Date: 2009

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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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Correspondence related to the recording of jail telephone calls in Polk County, Florida.
 

Author/Organization: J. Marion Moorman
Publication Date: 06/29/2010

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Correspondence related to the recording of jail telephone calls in Polk County, Florida.

Author/Organization: J. Marion Moorman
Publication Date: 06/04/2010

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Correspondence related to the recording of jail telephone calls in Polk County, Florida.

Author/Organization: Cassandra I. Denmark
Publication Date: 05/27/2010

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Gideon Alert: Ohio Public Defender Commission to force change in Hamilton County (Cincinnati)

BY David Carroll on Monday, June 28, 2010 at 11:33 AM

On June 27th, 2010 the Cincinnati Enquirer reported about how the Ohio Public Defender Commission (OPDC) is forcing change to public defense services in Hamilton County, by withholding state reimbursements and potentially suing the county ov