« Ind. Gov't. - "Vacant structures leave communities big-boxed into a corner" | Main | Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides one today, an attorney disciplinary opinion »

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ind. Courts - "Report: Indiana Public Defender System 'Structurally Flawed'”

Mike Perleberg of EagleCounty 99.3FM News reports today on a new Sixth Amendment Center 228-page report, “The Right to Counsel in Indiana: An Assessment of Trial Level Indigent Defense Services.” A quote:

The problems, the organization says, largely stem from how Indiana’s public defenders are funded.

“Under U.S. Supreme Court case law, the provision of Sixth Amendment indigent defense services is a state obligation through the Fourteenth Amendment. In Indiana, however, counties are responsible in the first instance to fund and administer services,” the report says.

It is not unconstitutional for a state to delegate this responsibility to counties, but it must guarantee that local governments are providing adequate representation. However, Indiana has been short of the mark.

Among the report’s findings, Indiana has no mechanism to ensure that its constitutional obligation to provide effective counsel to the indigent accused is met in misdemeanor cases in any of its courts, including city and town courts.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 25, 2016 11:00 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts