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What's Justice Worth Part II: Legal Aid for the Indigent....Follow

#1 Jun 15 2012 at 6:55 AM Rating: Good
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NPR has been running stories all week about criminal and civil legal assistance for the indigent.

The 6th Amendment guarantees legal council for all. Everyone knows the old Miranda speech "If you can't afford a lawyer one will be appointed to you". But law is not cheap and never has their been a funded, comprehensive, nation-wide, legal aid program. States are responsible and pretty much left on their own to find the ways and means to fund justice.

Today in my local paper is an article about the state finally paying the lawyers the money they were owed, however scantily ($50.00/hr). There are ever more cases of greater complexity and state budgets are forever falling short.

What are the consequences of failing to provide adequate and effective legal council to those who can't buy it themselves? Do we ultimately pay the price in over-crowded prisons, do we strengthen the cycle of poverty rather than disrupt it? Are we ignoring the prevention and failing to provide a cure?

Here are a couple quotes from the NPR ariticle:
Quote:
If you're handling 400 indigent cases a year, there is simply no way that you can adequately investigate and prepare all of them," Moran says. "In fact, there's no way you can adequately investigate and prepare any of them if you have that many cases

Quote:
Court-appointed lawyers in Michigan, Steinberg says, "have to encourage their clients to plead guilty and keep the docket moving in order to generate the volume that they can make a living. So the incentive is to get your client to plead guilty as quickly as possible doing the least amount of work as possible."







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#2 Jun 15 2012 at 7:09 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
What are the consequences of failing to provide adequate and effective legal council to those who can't buy it themselves?
Dismissal of current legal council and appointment of another.
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#3 Jun 15 2012 at 7:28 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
But law is not cheap and never has their been a funded, comprehensive, nation-wide, legal aid program. States are responsible and pretty much left on their own to find the ways and means to fund justice.

I'm perfectly fine letting the states work this out for themselves. I'm not entirely sure why Uncle Sam would need to be involved, unless perhaps when the case is being tried in federal court.

Quote:
What are the consequences of failing to provide adequate and effective legal council to those who can't buy it themselves? Do we ultimately pay the price in over-crowded prisons, do we strengthen the cycle of poverty rather than disrupt it? Are we ignoring the prevention and failing to provide a cure?

The 6th amendment doesn't promise top-notch legal council, just "Assistance of Council for his defense." Can't afford a first-rate lawyer? Neither can I. Tough luck.

Quote:
Here are a couple quotes from the NPR ariticle:
Quote:
If you're handling 400 indigent cases a year, there is simply no way that you can adequately investigate and prepare all of them," Moran says. "In fact, there's no way you can adequately investigate and prepare any of them if you have that many cases

Why would anybody listen to this Moran?
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#4 Jun 15 2012 at 8:13 AM Rating: Good
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Demea wrote:

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What are the consequences of failing to provide adequate and effective legal council to those who can't buy it themselves? Do we ultimately pay the price in over-crowded prisons, do we strengthen the cycle of poverty rather than disrupt it? Are we ignoring the prevention and failing to provide a cure?

The 6th amendment doesn't promise top-notch legal council, just "Assistance of Council for his defense." Can't afford a first-rate lawyer? Neither can I. Tough luck.


You completely ignored the question.
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#5 Jun 15 2012 at 8:16 AM Rating: Default
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/shrug

It was a stupid question.
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#6 Jun 15 2012 at 8:24 AM Rating: Good
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Demea wrote:
/shrug

It was a stupid question.

There are no stupid questions!
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#7 Jun 15 2012 at 8:25 AM Rating: Good
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Just stupid people.
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#8 Jun 15 2012 at 10:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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Demea wrote:
I'm perfectly fine letting the states work this out for themselves. I'm not entirely sure why Uncle Sam would need to be involved, unless perhaps when the case is being tried in federal court.
In immigration court, they bypass this by not requiring that you have an attorney and specifying that you may represent yourself. When I asked about it once, they said that it would be a conflict of interest for DHS to provide an attorney to defend you from DHS charges.
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#9 Jun 15 2012 at 10:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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I was under the impression that the US tries immigration cases as a civil matter, not a criminal one. If it was tried criminally, they would be obligated to provide legal defense.

These guys back me up on the "civil case" portion (last point, bottom of page).

Edited, Jun 15th 2012 11:46am by Jophiel
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#10 Jun 15 2012 at 5:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
I was under the impression that the US tries immigration cases as a civil matter, not a criminal one. If it was tried criminally, they would be obligated to provide legal defense.

These guys back me up on the "civil case" portion (last point, bottom of page).
Makes sense, for sure. I never knew why. Just the reasoning one of the detained lawyers gave me.
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#11 Jun 17 2012 at 6:43 PM Rating: Good
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demea wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Demea wrote:

Quote:
What are the consequences of failing to provide adequate and effective legal council to those who can't buy it themselves? Do we ultimately pay the price in over-crowded prisons, do we strengthen the cycle of poverty rather than disrupt it? Are we ignoring the prevention and failing to provide a cure?

The 6th amendment doesn't promise top-notch legal council, just "Assistance of Council for his defense." Can't afford a first-rate lawyer? Neither can I. Tough luck.


You completely ignored the question.

/shrug

It was a stupid question.


Okay, how about "Are there consequences for failing to provide adequate and effective legal council to those who can't buy it themselves?" And if so, what should we do about it?

honest question

Edited, Jun 17th 2012 5:44pm by stupidmonkey
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#12 Jun 18 2012 at 7:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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Atomicflea wrote:
Makes sense, for sure. I never knew why. Just the reasoning one of the detained lawyers gave me.

On the plus side, when someone compares illegal immigrants to "criminals just like axe murderers and kitten rapists", you'll know they're ignorant retards. Or ask them if they think it should be a bona fide crime. Then let them know they just agreed to give every illegal immigrant tax-payer funded legal counsel and defense. Lulz ensue!
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#13 Jun 18 2012 at 7:25 AM Rating: Good
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Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
Okay, how about "Are there consequences for failing to provide adequate and effective legal council to those who can't buy it themselves?" And if so, what should we do about it?

Yes, there are "consequences," just as there are for literally every action (or inaction) ever taken. It's a rhetorical (and therefore stupid) question.

Again, I'm not sure why the federal government would provide money to hire legal defense in state criminal cases. But beyond that, of all the things we as a nation could spend more money on, this has to be way towards the bottom of everyone's list.
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#14 Jun 18 2012 at 3:33 PM Rating: Default
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Demea wrote:
Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
Okay, how about "Are there consequences for failing to provide adequate and effective legal council to those who can't buy it themselves?" And if so, what should we do about it?

Yes, there are "consequences," just as there are for literally every action (or inaction) ever taken. It's a rhetorical (and therefore stupid) question.


Exactly. What are the consequences for failing to provide adequate housing, or food, or education, or whatever to those who can't buy it themselves? At the end of the day, our efforts and labors are meaningless if they *don't* buy us something greater than if we hadn't bothered. The corollary therefore requires that some things will be outside the economic reach of some people. There's nothing wrong with this. It's a great incentive for being a more productive member of society IMO.
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