A robust public defenders system is vital for democracy. The Prison Policy Initiative offers a set of nine strategies that can help state governments assess how well they are doing in providing adequate representation for people too poor to afford lawyers.
According to a recent op-ed, advocates argue that the FBI has been hiding behind claims of “state secrets” when confronted with allegations that it violated constitutional rights with unwarranted investigations and illegal conduct.
Why would defendants plead guilty to a crime they haven’t committed? Often it’s to ensure fairer and more responsive treatment at the hands of a justice system that otherwise offers them few other options, says Rutgers University law professor Thea Johnson.
Proposed rule changes would also separately allow gag orders to be applied more broadly to witnesses. Critics charge it would be a “significant expansion of secrecy” around federal courts and investigations.
Stephen Breyer, at 82 the oldest member of the U.S. Supreme Court, said he has not decided whether to retire. President Joe Biden and Democrats worry a delay could deliver a power-shifting win to the Republican party.
The ruling marked the first time that a high-level court very explicitly extended the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to younger adults. The case is likely to wind up in the Supreme Court.