Defender

Tom Green County, Texas considers regional defender model

BY Jon Mosher on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 12:20 PM

As noted in our Gideon Alert on January 26, the National Association of Counties recommended the federal government fund pilot public defender programs to serve multi-county jurisdictions in rural areas.  The San Angelo Standard-Times reports that Tom Green County, Texas is considering such a regional model using grant funds from the state’s Task Force on Indigent Defense.  NLADA applauds the county’s leadership for considering creative solutions to their local right to counsel dilemma.

Addressing representatives of U.S. county governments, David Carroll stated: "Prudent use of taxpayer dollars requires that we all work together to get state policy-makers to reduce the need for public defense attorneys in the first place by removing non-violent, low level felonies and misdemeanors from the formal justice system through diversion, mediation and/or reclassification of crimes to non-jailable infractions where it is safe, reasonable and prudent to do so.  It is only through reducing our dependence on public defense that we will ever be able to get states to relieve counties of this financial burden once and for all."

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Publication Date: 01/20/2011

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

FLAG THIS CONTENT

The National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals was created in 1971 to formulate for the first time national criminal justice standards and goals for crime reduction and prevention at the State and local levels. In 1973, the National Advisory Commission issued six extensive reports on the following topics: 1) A National Strategy to Reduce Crime; 2) Criminal Justice System; 3) Police; 4) Courts; 5) Corrections; and 6) Community Crime Prevention. The Report of the Task Force on the Courts sets standards for the flow of cases through each stage of the criminal justice process, as well as basic standards for each of the system's component parts, including courts, court administration, prosecution and defense. Printed here are the black letter standards from Chapter 13 of that report, entitled "The Defense," omitting commentary, references and related standards.

Author/Organization: National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals
Publication Date: 1973

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

FLAG THIS CONTENT

From 1974 to 1976, following consultations with the Attorney General and the Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association convened a 35-member National Study Commission on Defense Services, with LEAA grant support. The Commission's charter was to utilize the standards developed by the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and goals in 1973 as a "basic underpinning for an extensive study of defense services aimed at preparing a blueprint of guidelines and procedures which would meet the nation's indigent defense needs."

Author/Organization: National Study Commission on Defense Services, NLADA
Publication Date: 1976

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

FLAG THIS CONTENT

Gideon Alert: Michigan Bar task force recommends how to deliver justice in the face of diminishing returns

BY David Carroll on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 6:16 PM

“By almost every measure, indigent criminal defense as a whole in Michigan falls far short of accepted standards, undermining the quality of justice, jeopardizing public safety, and creating large and avoidable costs.  Michigan’s public defense system has fallen far short of acceptable standards for decades and is worsening … The cost of properly fixing the system is great; the cost of not fixing it is greater.” This is the conclusion reached about indigent defense services in the State Bar of Michigan’s “Judicial Crossroads Task Force” report Delivering Justice in the Face of Diminishing Returns, released January 26, 2011.  The report summarizes the conclusions of a Bar-convened task force composed of twenty-nine leaders of the Bar, business, civic and political communities, including 14 judges.

By this letter, the ACCD called upon Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to collaborate toward the accomplishment of three major goals: (1) creation of a permanent federal structure that protects and supports the right to counsel; (2) funding of necessary federal resources to support quality public defender services; and (3) provision of high-quality federally funded training for public defense managers, leaders and practitioners. 

Author/Organization: American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD)
Publication Date: 01/15/2010

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

FLAG THIS CONTENT

Tribal courts plan for public defense, as they take jurisdiction over felonies

BY Phyllis E. Mann on Monday, January 31, 2011 at 1:25 PM

As reported by KUOW radio out of Seattle, Washington, tribal courts are gearing up to take jurisdiction over felonies with authority to sentence people to jail for up to three years.  But to do so, public defense attorneys will have to be provided to those who cannot afford their own counsel. 

Is one model of delivering right to counsel services inherently superior?

BY Jon Mosher on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 5:05 PM

From time to time, NLADA will publish a more in-depth explanation of a particular topic, concept, or standard. Today, we have posted one such article: Understanding the debate about full-time public defender offices or appointment of private attorneys.

San Francisco defenders demonstrate the importance of zealous advocacy

BY Jon Mosher on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Our American system of justice presumes that law enforcement officials are human, and thus fallible.  Despite the overall dedication and professionalism of the hundreds of thousands of citizens employed in the police and prosecution functions in this country, it is simply impossible to always arrest and prosecute the right defendant for the right crime in every single instance.  If errorless law enforcement existed, there would be no need for a jury of one’s peers to weigh the evidence in a case before an impartial judge.

Debate on Massachusetts public defense proposal continues

BY Jon Mosher on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 5:16 PM

The discussion about Massachusetts Gov. Patrick's proposed changes to the state's public defender system continues. Today, David Carroll, NLADA research director and author of Gideon Alerts, appeared on WBUR's Radio Boston show to provide national context to the discussion (stream online here).