2013 -- Texas
Garcia Herandez, C.J. Powell
Yale Law Journal
ABSTRACT & CITATION
This article was written by the Chief and Deputy Chief Public Defenders for El Paso, Texas. They use the fiftieth anniversary of Gideon as an opportunity to reflect on the history of indigent defense in their community. In the 1980s, inmates at the county jail brought a federal civil rights suit that resulted in a consent decree and memorandum of understanding called “The El Paso Plan.” The Plan created the public defender office and allocated it 50% of felony appointments, allocating the other 50% to assigned private counsel; this federal consent decree has since sustained their office through political and economic opposition. This article focuses on two major areas of development for the office since its creation. First, the authors discuss their transition from a trial-centered model to a client-centered model of representation, measuring what clients wanted (especially dismissals) rather than trial rates. Second, the authors explain how they serve their clients with mental health needs – namely, by seeking pre-trial release, collaborating with community health workers, and understanding their clients’ specialized circumstances in order to effectively represent them in court.
Garcia Herandez, M. C. & Powell, C. J. (June 01, 2013). Valuing Gideon’s Gold: How Much Justice Can We Afford?. Yale Law Journal, 122, 8, 2358-2375.Topics: Caseloads, Community Relations, Experts, Funding, Investigation, Salaries, Supervision, Training
Last revised: June 12, 2015 1:42 pm