What Does the Right to Counsel Provide and Who's Paying for It?

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With the continuing expansion of the 6th Amendment’s guaranteed right to counsel by the U.S. Supreme Court, the issue becomes what exactly does a defendant get with that right? It’s clear that an indigent accused is legally entitled to more than just a lawyer by his or her side; the court has also defined the constitutional rights to due process and equal protection to encompass support of the defense, such as transcripts being made available to the indigent accused filing a direct appeal (Griffin v. Illinois, 351 U.S. 12 (1956)).

Ignoring the elephant in the room – which is how all of these expenses and fees are to be paid -- precedent is growing that allows U.S. citizens who cannot afford to hire their own attorney to have legal counsel provided to them, along with certain assistance in the preparation and pursuit of that indigent’s defense.

This cannot continue; the system is at its breaking point.

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Terence Lenamon on:

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