2012 -- NATIONAL LEVEL
New York University (NYU)
ABSTRACT & CITATION
The Sixth Amendment’s right to counsel, which has been treated exclusively as an individual right enforceable through the Due Process Clause, is a collective right of the People. There are vital structural protections inherent in the right to counsel that go well beyond an individual’s due process rights. In particular, the Constitution was designed to ensure a robust system of checks and balances when executive power was exercised. The paradigmatic example of such power exercised is the arrest and prosecution of an individual. At one time, the primary means for overseeing prosecutors was through the jury system, but in the modern crush of criminal justice, juries play a statistically insignificant checking power function. The right to defense counsel serves an essential structural protection for all of society by ensuring that courts are able to perform their independent role of checking executive power. The implications for this new understanding of the right to counsel are immense, not only allowing affirmative class-action challenges to under-funded indigent defense systems, but also requiring counsel for civil litigants whenever the government is the petitioner.
Guggenheim, Martin. (2012). The People’s Right to a Well-Funded Indigent Defender system. New Your University Review of Law & Social Change. 36, 395-464.Topics: Appellate Court Decisions, Assigned Counsel, Community Relations, Ethical and Professional Responsibilities, Independence of Defense Providers, Resource Disparity, State Court Decisions, Supreme Court Decisions, Training
Last revised: June 12, 2015 10:05 am