Articles

Public defenders: ‘Pay now or pay later’

In the 2½ years since the Sixth Amendment Center released a report strongly condemning indigent criminal defense in Indiana, public defenders have pressed for reforms. Now, those efforts slowly are beginning to bear fruit as the Indiana General Assembly takes action on reform legislation.

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State, national groups support Indiana public defense reform

Leaders of state and national criminal justice organizations are declaring their support for the Indiana Public Defender Commission’s reform initiative, which the commission is presenting to the Indiana General Assembly this year in an effort to secure additional funds to expand and improve indigent defense services statewide.

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Improving legal representation for the indigent

Nearly two years after a national organization released a report that was highly critical of Indiana’s public defense system, a statewide task force has issued a report of its own that lays out the issues hindering Hoosier defendants’ access to counsel and makes recommendations for improvement.

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Signature waived right to jury trial, COA affirms

A Clay County defendant waived her Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial when she signed a form acknowledging the deadline to demand a jury, then missed that deadline, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in an opinion upholding the denial of the defendant’s untimely jury trial demand.

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Public defender task force announces listening tour

A task force that is studying the provision of indigent criminal defense services in Indiana will soon travel the state to gather public input on how those services can be improved. The Task Force on Public Defense announced Wednesday it is launching a statewide listening tour to seek public comment on the inefficiencies in Indiana’s public defense services.

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