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public defenders

Can Public Defenders be Reformers?

Defense attorneys spend more time with criminal defendants than anyone else in the justice system. So if they care about better outcomes, they need to go beyond their traditional roles, says the head of the Milwaukee Public Defender’s Office.

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justice

The National Crisis of the Public Defender System

Constitutional guarantees of equal protection look hollow to poor, working-class Americans who are forced to turn to under-funded and overworked public defenders’ offices when they are in trouble with the law.

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alcoholism

The Silent Threat to Justice

Stress is an occupational hazard for lawyers, driving some to alcoholism and substance abuse. But when public defenders succumb, it can also affect the right of the poorest individuals to a fair trial, a Crime Report investigation finds.

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scales of justice

Legal Aid for Capital Punishment Cases Depends on Where You Live: Study

A pro-death penalty “punitive culture” in some federal jurisdictions ensures that poor defendants in capital punishment cases never get the quality of public defense they are entitled to, argues a study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. The authors say their findings help explain the stark racial disparities in the application of death sentences across the U.S.

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Constitution Hall

Fix Your ‘Failing’ Public Defense System, ACLU Tells Nevada

A class-action lawsuit charging Nevada with violating its constitutional responsibility to ensure all citizens receive equal treatment before the law is aimed at pushing the state to fix its “utterly failing” public defense system, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). It’s the eighth such suit launched by the ACLU against states and counties.

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