New Orleans

Gideon Alert: New Orleans DA questions appointed counsel for those who make bail

BY David Carroll on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Bail is often posted by someone else on behalf of a defendant.  Another person may have all sorts of reasons for wanting to get the defendant out of jail.  For example, parents of an adult defendant may find themselves serving as caretaker for the defendant’s children while the defendant is in jail, or a defendant’s in-laws may want the defendant to get back to work to support the family.  But these people may not have a similar or any incentive to hire a lawyer to defend the charge against the defendant.  The assets of others cannot be considered in determining whether the defendant is indigent and entitled to a public lawyer, because others cannot be compelled to hire a lawyer for the defendant.  

Commissioned by the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Louisiana Bar Foundation, this NLADA report focused on New Orleans' system for providing legal representation to low-income people charged with crimes, concluding that the New Orleans indigent defense crisis could not be fixed without comprehensive statewide reform and setting out a step-by-step blue print for legislative action in the 2007 Legislative session. Those reforms were eventually successful, with the passage of Act 307, The Louisiana Public Defender Act, creating the public defender system in place today.

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Publication Date: 9/22/2006

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