Funding Public Defenders

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that criminal defendants have the right to sue  a county  to prove a that public defender’s office isn’t adequately funded to provide the constitutional right to an attorney. The actual decision is here:

“We recognize for the first time in Pennsylvania a prospective cause of action enabling indigent criminal defendants to prove that the level of funding provided by a county to operate a public defender’s office has left that office incapable of complying with Gideon, creating the likelihood of a systematic, widespread constructive denial of counsel in contravention of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

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