The Champion

June 2009 , Page 22 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

Ethical Issues in Indigent Defense: The Continuing Crisis of Excessive Caseloads

By Steven N. Yermish

A client is a client, whether privately retained or court-appointed. The ethical rules relevant to representing an accused in a criminal court in this country apply equally to the attorney for the wealthy and the indigent. Yet, there are certain ethical issues that particularly arise in the representation of the indigent accused. And one such issue has probably become the foremost in criminal practice today.

Much has been written about the chronic underfunding of indigent criminal defense in the United States. In the face of severe government revenue shortfalls, indigent defense has been a favorite target for cost savings at the expense of the constitutional rights of the poor in our courtrooms. This situation has resulted in lower salaries and a higher turnover rate among young public defenders, outrageously excessive caseloads, and a lack of crucial resources such as expert witnesses, investigative services, and mitigation and disposition specialists. For the criminal defense attorney

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
login

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad