Excerpt adapted from: David Carroll and Scott Wallace, Implementation and Impact of Indigent Defense Standards (December 2003), Award No. 1999-IJ-CX-0049, National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, United States Department of Justice.
One spring night in 2001, an unidentified caller dialed 911 and hung up before words were exchanged. The police were routinely dispatched to the apartment where the call originated. They were greeted at the door by Mike (not his real name). Mike appeared nervous, having used methamphetamines an hour earlier. The police asked permission to enter to ensure that no actual emergency was in progress, and Mike consented. The officers saw drugs in plain view. Mike and an acquaintance Mary (not her real name) who was also present were arrested and charged with felonies.
As jurisdictions across the country struggle to overcome right to counsel systemic deficiencies, it is valuable to remember that some jurisdictions do serve as best practice models. For example, the Oregon Public Defender Services Commission has total authority to establish and maintain a public defense system that ensures quality, effectiveness, efficiency and accountabil