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Sixth Amendment

Supreme Court Rules There's No Such Thing As A Right To Being Thrown In Prison Quickly

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 05.19.2016 | Politics

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the Constitution doesn't guarantee people convicted of crimes the right to receive a sentence as quickly...

There Is No Fix For the Military Commissions

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 04.21.2016 | World
Daphne Eviatar

The problem with the Guantanamo military commissions is not the defendants' right to appear at hearings in their own trial. It's that the government keeps meddling in the cases in such cockamamie ways that they have to adjourn for months at a time while the lawyers scramble to figure out how to respond. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Justice Scalia -- Conservative Icon?

Tamara Rice Lave | Posted 02.18.2016 | Politics
Tamara Rice Lave

It's easy to celebrate (or vilify) Scalia's originalism because it allowed him to interpret the Constitution in a way that resonated with his conservative values. Yet this same jurisprudence underlay decisions dramatically increasing the rights of the accused.

Justice Has a Waiting List in New Orleans

Brandon Buskey | Posted 01.15.2016 | Politics
Brandon Buskey

Louisiana is extraordinary in that the primary source for public defense funding comes from fees defendants must pay if found guilty of a crime. That means public defenders can only guarantee their salary if enough of their clients are convicted of crimes. Acquittals are bad for business.

Christopher Mathias

Giant Settlement In New York Promises 'More Humane Justice System' For The Poor

HuffingtonPost.com | Christopher Mathias | Posted 10.22.2014 | Politics

NEW YORK -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement that will bolster the state’s public legal counsel for the...

Christopher Mathias

Holder Backs Lawsuit Against Cuomo For Failing To Provide Legal Services To The Poor

HuffingtonPost.com | Christopher Mathias | Posted 09.25.2014 | Politics

Attorney General Eric Holder, who will reportedly announce his resignation on Thursday, has lent his endorsement to a class-action lawsuit that accuse...

Boehner's Constitution Of Convenience

Duncan Hosie | Posted 10.26.2014 | Politics
Duncan Hosie

Ironically, Speaker Boehner resorted to the American justice system to sue President Obama, the very system he has worked relentlessly to underfund for indigents. Instead of suing Obama, he should start fixing the system he and his colleagues broke.

Working as a Defense Attorney Shouldn't Mean Political Suicide

Michael Shammas | Posted 09.14.2014 | Crime
Michael Shammas

Advising the accused is not a politically popular job. But it is a necessary one. To criticize defense attorneys, the chief checks against prosecutorial abuse, is to promote a judicial system of error by stigmatizing a key motivator for better prosecution.

Tsarnaev's Friends Seek Constitutional Rights

Martin Zabell | Posted 07.31.2014 | Crime
Martin Zabell

The United States will be riveted on Dzokhar Tsarnaev when he goes on trial on Nov. 3, 2014, for allegedly murdering three people and injuring 264 on April 15, 2013, when he and his brother Tamerlan allegedly placed two bombs near the finish line of that day's Boston Marathon. Legal experts and scholars, though, might conclude that the first Boston Marathon bombing trial is more legally significant.

Supreme Court Rules on Pre-Criminal Trial Asset Seizure

Brad Reid | Posted 04.27.2014 | Crime
Brad Reid

The fundamental legal concept of due process requires the right to be heard by a neutral decision maker before having life, liberty, and property taken by the government. The majority opinion seems to unduly fear a hearing.

Failing the Sixth Amendment's Promise of Right to Counsel

Caroline Fredrickson | Posted 11.19.2013 | Politics
Caroline Fredrickson

Instead of ensuring budgets for proper counsel for the poor, many states have gone the other way and slashed funding for public defenders offices. That is no way to honor, let alone uphold, a fundamental constitutional right.

Late Morning Links: Puppycide, Oatmeal, Donkey Cheese

Radley Balko | Posted 02.10.2013 | Politics
Radley Balko

-- Politician wants to ban a gun that doesn't exist. -- Headline of the day. -- Puppycide: Dog-with-tennis-ball-in-mouth edition. -- Internet feud ...

Are Courthouses Obsolete?

Brad Reid | Posted 09.13.2012 | Business
Brad Reid

Are courtrooms obsolete? No, but many venues are located outside of the traditional courthouse or are increasingly subject to video conferencing such as arraignments.

Mike Sacks

Absurdly Bad Plea Bargain Advice Violates Constitution, Supreme Court Rules

HuffingtonPost.com | Mike Sacks | Posted 03.21.2012 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Defendants who receive deficient or absurdly bad plea bargaining advice from their lawyers have had their constitutional rights violated...

Mike Sacks

Justice Kennedy Hints At Change Of Heart In Sixth Amendment Case

HuffingtonPost.com | Mike Sacks | Posted 12.07.2011 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday morning, Justice Anthony Kennedy turned a constitutional inquiry he once derided as "formalistic and wooden" into one of his ...

Mike Sacks

What 'Citizens United' And A Case Tuesday Have In Common

HuffingtonPost.com | Mike Sacks | Posted 12.05.2011 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Justice Anthony Kennedy doesn't always cast the decisive swing vote. He too can be found in dissent, aggressively lobbying the law to tu...

Mike Sacks

Supreme Court Asked How Much Bad Lawyering The Constitution Allows

HuffingtonPost.com | Mike Sacks | Posted 12.31.2011 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- When Anthony Cooper shot a fleeing woman in the thigh and buttocks back in 2003, his lawyer advised him to reject the prosecution's deal...

Mike Sacks

VIDEO: Supreme Court Will Ponder Bad Lawyers, Broken Elbows And Eyewitness IDs

HuffingtonPost.com | Mike Sacks | Posted 12.28.2011 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court returns to the bench on Monday for another two weeks of oral arguments. Next week's docket is stacked with criminal ca...