Month: February 2013

Alabama legislators move to exonerate the Scottsboro Boys

Pleading the Sixth:  In March 1931, a fight broke out between a group of seven white boys and a larger group of black teenagers aboard a train.  When almost all of the white teenagers were thrown off of the slow-moving

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Alabama reforms spark expanded use of public defender model

Pleading the Sixth:  The indigent defense reforms enacted in 2011 are starting to take root in Alabama.  Rather than leading to a proliferation of flat-fee contracting, as some have feared, state funding has steadily increased under the reforms, prompting both

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Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services to run out of money in April 2013

Pleading the Sixth: The Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services (MCILS) is predicting that it will run out of money to pay assigned counsel attorneys shortly after the 50th Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright (March 2013).  The unavailability of funds,

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Idaho legislature contemplates initial reforms

Pleading the Sixth: The Idaho Criminal Justice Commission offered initial indigent defense reforms that have been introduced in the House of Representatives.  The proposed reforms seek to, among other things: create a statewide uniform standard for who may get public

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Missouri Bar weighs in on workload crisis as the legislature debates privatizing much of the public defender’s work

Pleading the Sixth: A new bill introduced in the Missouri legislature would resolve the public defender caseload crisis by restricting the state public defender to representation in only serious felony cases while privatizing services for all other case-types through low-bid

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Texas judges ask out of indigent defense oversight

Pleading the Sixth:  In an effort to meet the American Bar Association’s Ten Principles, judges in Travis County, Texas (Austin) created a plan to remove themselves from the oversight and administration of public defense services.  Will the proposed “managed assigned

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