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January 14, 2011


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Patrick S. O'Donnell

Alas, most folks don't give a sh*t about the plight of indigent or impoverished defendants, and I suspect they possess little or no understanding or appreciation of Sixth-and Eighth Amendment rights apart, say, from the right to a public trial and trial by jury (even here, a precise understanding of these rights is elusive), thus the prospects of "further investigation, regulation, and reform" are quite bleak, particularly in the current economic climate. The right to effective counsel is egregiously violated on a daily basis owing to overwhelmed public defense lawyers in combination with insufficient constraints on prosecutorial power and discretion (I'll spare readers the citation of the relevant literature).

I nonetheless appreciate the post and I continue to look for evidence contrary to the above assessment. And I will do whatever I can in my (infinitesimally) small corner of the universe to bring about the requisite changes toward making our criminal justice system less "criminal" and more "just." I hope your readers and colleagues will find the motivation and wherewithal to do the same.

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