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Tag Archives: public defender

ACLU backs bill limiting public defenders’ caseloads (access required)

The constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel should spur the General Assembly to pass legislation to limit the number of felony and misdemeanor cases handled by the state’s overworked public defenders and have the extra cases handled by appointed private-sector attorneys, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland told a Senate committee Wednesday.

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OPD seeks cap on attorneys’ caseloads (access required)

Saying his staff attorneys are overworked, Maryland’s chief public defender will urge the General Assembly to limit their felony and misdemeanor caseloads and to provide funding for about 110 appointed private-sector attorneys to handle the extra cases.

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Top court weighs start date for lawyers-at-bail requirement (access required)

An attorney for indigent people said Maryland’s top court should immediately implement its landmark decision that they have a right to counsel at initial bail hearings, while a lawyer for the state urged a delay at least until the start of the fiscal year on July1.

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Cost of bail decision could approach $500 million (access required)

The cost of implementing changes required by a September Court of Appeals ruling requiring public defenders at all judicial hearings, including those involving bail, could top $500 million over 10 years according to Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy.

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Editorial: Forensic analysis not exempt from 6th Amendment (access required)

The outrage from Stephen B. Mercer of the state public defender’s office over the interpretation of a Supreme Court decision that led to convictions being upheld in two rape cases is understandable, given such a clear disconnect between what the Sixth Amendment says and what the Maryland Court of Appeals says it means.

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