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NCJ Number: 156736 Find in a Library
Title: Who Is Trying To Kill the Sixth Amendment?
Journal: Criminal Justice  Volume:6  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1991)  Pages:24-28,51-52
Author(s): E C Monahan
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 7
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article traces the history of how the sixth amendment's right to counsel has been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court as it applies to indigent defendants and then assesses the current status of various States' support of defense services for indigent defendants.
Abstract: The sixth amendment right to counsel is clearly stated and guaranteed to citizens, but for most of U.S. history, the right to counsel has not been afforded freely to poor defendants. From 1932 to the 1970's, the sixth amendment guarantee of counsel was interpreted in a gradually expanding manner by the U.S. Supreme Court. Of late, the Federal courts have been restricting that right more often than expanding it. The sixth amendment is being further undermined by a society that refuses to fund counsel for the indigent defendant at a fair level. This is done by choosing to underfund public defender programs. Over the years, even some prosecutors have urged that the poor's access to counsel be diluted. Funding for the sixth amendment provided by States, counties, cities, and the Federal Government is not sufficient. To illustrate this, the author examines public defender funding in Kentucky and briefly looks at the funding in Ohio and the crisis in Alabama. Specifically, the article examines how much money is spent on defense counsel relative to other ways governments spend their money. 2 figures
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Alabama; Court appointed counsel; Defense services; Funding sources; Kentucky; Ohio; Public defenders; Right to counsel; US Supreme Court decisions
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