Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Historical & Political Studies; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Angela Kachuyevski

Abstract

The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to counsel for indigent defendants. Even though a constitutional right, indigent defense in the US suffers from significant problems. While scholars have attempted to provide solutions to the problems, a question persists, How are Indigent Defense Systems impacting how Access to Justice is being provided in the United States? To answer this question, a structured, focused comparison method was utilized to evaluate US indigent defense systems. Case studies were chosen based upon the delivery and majority of funding for indigent defense coming from counties. Right to counsel for Access to Justice was defined by the competence of counsel, rights of defendants, and space and resources afforded to counsel. I hypothesized an independent commission was necessary to ensure Access to Justice was provided. By asking the same questions of each case study, I determined the majority of case studies with an independent commission were providing Access to Justice adequately. Those case studies without, were not adequately providing Access to Justice. The presence of independent commissions is promising for Access to Justice for indigent defendants, since the presence of case studies with deficient systems shows Access to Justice is not being adequately provided.

Comments

PGL Student

Share

COinS
 

Right to Counsel: Improving Access to Justice in US Indigent Defense Systems

The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to counsel for indigent defendants. Even though a constitutional right, indigent defense in the US suffers from significant problems. While scholars have attempted to provide solutions to the problems, a question persists, How are Indigent Defense Systems impacting how Access to Justice is being provided in the United States? To answer this question, a structured, focused comparison method was utilized to evaluate US indigent defense systems. Case studies were chosen based upon the delivery and majority of funding for indigent defense coming from counties. Right to counsel for Access to Justice was defined by the competence of counsel, rights of defendants, and space and resources afforded to counsel. I hypothesized an independent commission was necessary to ensure Access to Justice was provided. By asking the same questions of each case study, I determined the majority of case studies with an independent commission were providing Access to Justice adequately. Those case studies without, were not adequately providing Access to Justice. The presence of independent commissions is promising for Access to Justice for indigent defendants, since the presence of case studies with deficient systems shows Access to Justice is not being adequately provided.

 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.