JSERI Reports

The Guarantee of Counsel: Advocacy & Due Process in Idaho’s Trial Courts

On January 27, 2010, NLADA publicly released its report, The Guarantee of Counsel: Advocacy & Due Process in Idaho’s Trial Courts.  The report finds that the state of Idaho fails to provide the level of representation required by our Constitution for those who cannot afford counsel in its criminal and juvenile courts.  Idaho has sewn a patchwork quilt of under-funded, inconsistent systems that vary greatly in defining who qualifies for services and in the level of competency of the services rendered.  While there are some admirable qualities in some of the county indigent defense services, NLADA finds that none of the public defense systems in the sample counties are constitutionally adequate.

Effective Assistance of Counsel: Implementing the Louisiana Public Defender Act of 2007

On June 17, 2010, NLADA released Effective Assistance of Counsel: Implementing the Louisiana Public Defender Act of 2007, a report concluding that the Louisiana Public Defender Act of 2007 has yet to take root in Louisiana’s 15th Judicial District.

The Louisiana legislature passed the Louisiana Public Defender Act of 2007 (“Act 307”) on a bipartisan and overwhelming vote, with the expressed intent of ensuring that “all indigent criminal defendants who are eligible to have appointed counsel at public expense receive effective assistance of counsel at each critical stage of the proceeding” and “that the right to counsel is delivered by qualified and competent counsel in a manner that is fair and consistent throughout the state.”

A Race to the Bottom: Speed and Savings over Due Process

On June 18, 2008, NLADA released its report, A Race to the Bottom: Speed and Savings over Due Process: A Constitutional Crisis, which found that the state of Michigan fails to provide competent representation to those who cannot afford counsel in its criminal courts.  The state of Michigan’s failure to fulfill its constitutional obligations has produced myriad county public defense systems that vary greatly in defining who qualifies for services and the competency of the services rendered. Michigan ranks 44th in the nation for per capita public defense spending ($7.35), behind such states as Alabama and Georgia.