Sunday, February 5, 2012
As we get closer to the 50th Anniversary of the Gideondecision, it is wonderful to see Attorney General Eric Holder being a true "minister of justice" in his support for counsel for indigent defendants. (see here) It is wonderful to see his recognition of the problems with indigent defense -
"Across the country, public defender offices and other indigent defense providers are underfunded and understaffed. Too often, when legal representation is available to the poor, it’s rendered less effective by insufficient resources, overwhelming caseloads, and inadequate oversight."
Across the country, public defender offices are handling cases of defendants charged with crimes related to mortgage fraud, Ponzi schemes, and other white collar offenses. AG Holder's recognition of the problems here and efforts to correct this situation are important to assuring a fair criminal justice process.