The Right To Counsel

posted by Judge_Burke @ 21:18 PM
March 6, 2020

Paul Marcus and Mary Sue Backus (William & Mary Law School and University of Oklahoma College of Law) have posted The Right to Counsel in Criminal Cases: Still A National Crisis (George Washington Law Review, Vol. 86, No. 1564, 2018) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

In 1963, Gideon v. Wainwright dramatically changed the landscape of criminal justice with its mandate that poor criminal defendants be entitled to legal representation funded by the government. As scholars and practitioners have noted repeatedly over more than fifty years, states have generally failed to provide the equal access Gideon promised. This Article revisits the questions raised by the authors over a decade ago when they asserted that a genuine national crisis exists regarding the right to counsel in criminal cases for poor people. Sadly, despite a few isolated instances where litigation has sparked some progress, the issues remain the same: persistent underfunding and crushing caseloads, and little support from the Supreme Court to remedy ineffective assistance claims. The authors conclude that our patchwork system of public defense for the poor remains disturbingly dysfunctional.


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