Brief for National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Appellees.
Argument: The right “to reasonable and timely notice of and to be present at all public proceedings involving the criminal or delinquent conduct” has impaired the administration of justice and cost counties and states millions of dollars. The right “to reasonable protection from the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused” has led to absurd results in pretrial release decisions. The codification of “respect for the victim’s . . . privacy” and the right “to reasonable protection from the accused” has made it more difficult for law enforcement to solve crime and left the public lacking critical information about criminal activity.
Brief Amicus Curiae of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Appellants.
Argument: Appellants have stated a claim for constructive denial of counsel because the allegations of the amendment complaint demonstrate that there are systemic deficiencies in the Luzerne County office of the Public Defender that create an imminent and unacceptable risk that appellants’ right to counsel will be violated in ways that cannot be cured by post-conviction review. The amended complaint describes systemic violations of Kuren’s and Allabaugh’s right to counsel under the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. Violations of the right to effective assistance of counsel at critical stages of the adversarial process prior to trial cannot be remedied by post-conviction review, making prospective injunctive relief appropriate. The problems confronting indigent defense services are systemic and extend throughout the commonwealth and the nation.