White Paper Regarding the Delegation of Indigent Defense Duties to the Counties

In 2008, national advocacy groups submitted a white paper to the Nevada Supreme Court regarding the Delegation of Indigent Defense Duties to the Counties. In Gideon, the US Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment applied to the states - not to county or local governments - by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment and that the State of Florida thus had an obligation to provide Mr. Gideon with counsel for his defense. While a state may delegate obligations imposed by the constitution, ‘it must do so in a manner that does not abdicate the constitutional duty it owes to the people.’ If the counties cannot meet the delegated obligations, the state — as the original obligor — must step in.

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), et al.
Publication Date: 09/02/2008

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