public defender

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Suspect Is Given Unusual Public Defender —the Governor

Assignment is a protest against chronically overloaded system

(Newser) - Missouri's top public defender says his office is so overworked that he has had to assign a case to a lawyer who can do something about the problem: Gov. Jay Nixon. Michael Barrett says he assigned the assault case to the Democratic governor under a rule that allows him... More »

How Hillary Clinton Freed an Alleged Child Rapist

In old recording, Clinton reminisces about defense attorney days

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton is in the spotlight right now, thanks to her new book and will-she-or-won't-she 2016 speculation , and it sure looks like someone's using the opportunity to roll out some opposition research. The right-leaning Washington Free Beacon yesterday released newly discovered recordings from the 1980s in which Clinton... More »

Judge Tells Lawyer, 'I'll Beat Your Ass,' Does So

Allegedly attacks public defender in hall

(Newser) - A judge in Florida got testy during a hearing, and his feud with a public defender ended with a hallway scuffle. Video shows a disagreement in court between the two, with Judge John Murphy telling lawyer Andrew Weinstock, "If I had a rock, I would throw it at you... More »

How You Lost Your Right to Free Legal Counsel

Feds refuse to support historic Gideon v. Wainwright decision

(Newser) - Fifty years ago, a letter from a petty thief inspired the US Supreme Court to grant all criminal suspects the right to legal counsel—but today that right is effectively ebbing away, writes Andrew Cohen in The Atlantic . The thief was Clarence Gideon, and his case became the landmark Supreme... More »

Garrido Apologizes, Says 'Sexual Problem' Cured

Accused kidnapper 'a changed man': lawyer

(Newser) - Phillip Garrido, Jaycee Dugard’s accused kidnapper, says he “would like to apologize to every human being for what has taken place.” In a letter—his third sent to KCRA from prison—Garrido adds that, “through the spirit of Christ,” a “sexual problem believed to... More »

Recession Delivers Double Whammy to Legal Aid Offices

(Newser) - The recession has crippled funding for legal aid even as it has bumped up the number of people requesting representation, McClatchy reports. Though the federal government ramped up spending this year—and plans an even bigger increase for 2010—state funding and private donations have cratered, forcing legal aid to... More »

Burnt-Out Defenders Refuse New Cases

(Newser) - Public defenders are as overworked as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore, the New York Times reports. Arguing that their hectic schedules result in scant attention for clients, government-appointed lawyers around the country are refusing new cases and suing to limit their workload. “The quality... More »

Jury Selection Turns to Facebook, Blogs, Data

Experts mine online profiles for background on jurors' views

(Newser) - Get called for jury duty these days, and you can expect attorneys to know a lot more about you than they let on. Trial consultants who used to specialize in legwork—visiting neighbors and friends to gather clues to potential jurors' views—are now expert Web surfers, tracing things like... More »

Executions Are Back—So Are Fairness Issues

3 recent death row releases show poor get shoddy defense

(Newser) - The problem with the death penalty isn’t the method of execution, it’s “poor people getting lousy lawyers,”  the director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project tells the New York Times. Now that the Supreme Court has green-lighted lethal injection and Georgia has resumed executions, opponents... More »

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