Friday, April 3, 2009
Ineffective assistance of counsel in criminal cases
Here is a link to a comment by Prof. Monroe Freedman on the appalling situation of ineffective assistance of counsel that so many indigent criminal defendants have to deal with in the US. It starts: "The young lawyer who resigned from the Walton County Public Defender’s office because she was not able to give her client’s the effective assistance of counsel, is unquestionably a hero. Unfortunately, she is also guilty of serious and sustained unethical conduct, as are her colleagues in the office, the supervisors, and the judges who presided over her cases. . . . As a result, she and her colleagues repeatedly assisted clients to plead guilty without doing any of the investigation or legal analysis that ethical rules and the Constitution require."