Monday, October 26, 2015

Report on Utah's public defense system for indigent defendants

On October 26, 2015, the Sixth Amendment Center released a report criticizing Utah’s long-standing, deep-rooted indigent defense system's deficiencies.  Among other things, the report criticizes the lack of state oversight, the fact that prosecutors are in charge of some local indigent defense budgets, and the fact that public defenders have excessive caseloads.  According to the report, more than 62% of all people facing a potential jail term for a misdemeanor charge go through proceedings without counsel. You can read the full report here, and two additional stories on it here and here.  This second story is about changes being proposed by Utah policymakers in the wake of the report.

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