Perspective: There Should Be a Right to Appointed Counsel for Indigent Persons

Facing Imprisonment in Tribal Courts

An indigent Native American who is charged in tribal court, facing a year in jail, with all the consequences of confinement — loss of employment, etc. — is not entitled to appointed counsel, only counsel at his or her own expense if the possible punishment is a year or less. Tova Indritz argues that there should be a right to appointed counsel for any indigent person facing imprisonment anywhere in the United States, including in tribal courts.