The tattered system for supplying criminal defense services to the poor is a shambles. More than 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court declared that persons charged with crimes must be provided with a defense lawyer if they are too poor to afford one, that promise has been broken. In countless places around the U.S., governments simply do not provide the resources for poor people charged with crimes to have a real defense. The result: defense lawyers with impossible caseloads struggling to meet the constitutional minimum standards for defense. It’s a national scandal, and yet year after year, state and local governments do too little – or nothing – to fix it.
Jonathan Rapping has an answer.
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