Boyer v. Louisiana

Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Pascal F. Calogero, Jr., Former Chief Justice, Louisiana Supreme Court in support of Petitioner.

Brief filed: 11/26/2012


Boyer v. Louisiana

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 11-9953

Prior Decision

Decision below 56 So.3d 1119 (La. Ct. App. 2011).

Question Presented

Whether a state's failure to fund counsel for an indigent defendant for five years, particularly where failure was the direct result of the prosecution's choice to seek the death penalty, should be weighed against the state for speedy trial purposes?


“We show below that the lack of funding that caused Petitioner’s prosecution to be delayed for five years did indeed reflect a systemic breakdown in the public defender system – in Louisiana in general and in Calcasieu Parish in particular. That breakdown was the direct and foreseeable result of deliberate decisions made and actions taken over a period of years by state and local officials. Hence those five years not only could but should be charged to the state under Barker and Brillon. A contrary ruling would encourage states to disregard indigent defendants’ Sixth Amendment rights, including their right to a speedy trial.” (Br. at 3.).

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