Pew study finds benefits, problems with virtual courts

Virtual hearings have been touted as providing easier access to the courts for low-income and self-represented litigants. But in a recent study, The Pew Charitable Trusts concluded the online judicial system is still designed for lawyers, and those parties without attorneys continue to be at a disadvantage.

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Pro se civil rights filings continue to climb

Nearly 20 years’ worth of data tracking trends of federal civil pro se filings show that civil rights cases make up the second-highest percentage of filings, next to pro se prisoner cases. In recent years, a growing number of those cases have targeted law enforcement or other government actors.

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Split Supreme Court upholds denial of LWOP defendant’s pro se request

A Boone County murder defendant convicted and sentenced to life without parole failed to convince a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court that the trial court improperly denied his request to proceed pro se. The majority provided an analysis for considering pro se requests in capital and LWOP sentences, but minority justices raised concerns about the majority “till(ing) new constitutional soil.”

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