Serious problems persist in indigent legal defense "it is better to be rich & guilty than poor & innocent" (cleveland-cuyahoga)

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Sun, 03/17/2013 - 15:32.

"You see too many instances of ineffective assistance of counsel, too many instances where you think, 'Was this lawyer crazy?'" Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said at the Justice Department event.

"The federal government does next to nothing to support indigent defense in the United States," Lefstein said.

But in many states today, taxpayer-funded public defenders face crushing caseloads, the quality of legal representation varies from county to county and people stand before judges having seen a lawyer only briefly, if at all.

"There is no denying that much, much needs to be done," Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday at a Justice Department event to commemorate the anniversary.





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