Justice on the Cheap
49-FEB B. B.J. 10 (2005)
5 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2015
Date Written: January 1, 2005
This article reviews the issues in Lavallee v. Justices of the Hampden Superior Court and Arianna S. v. Commonwealth et. al. concerning insufficient indigent defense in Massachusetts and the experience of systematic challenges to indigent defense in other jurisdictions. In Lavallee, the Supreme Judicial Court found the shortage of available counsel in Hampden County deprived petitioners of their art. 12 right to assistance of counsel, and ordered that, unless counsel is provided within 45 days of filing charges, cases must be dismissed without prejudice. Arianna S. extended the claim of inadequate indigent defense statewide and also asserted that even available but constitutionally deficient attorney performance was due to inadequate attorney compensation. If the SJC finds in favor of Arianna S. petitioners, it should address systematic inadequacy in order to make Massachusetts’ method for delivery of indigent service, exemplary on paper, also exemplary in practice.
Keywords: Indigent criminal defendants, indigent defense services, public defenders, effective assistance of counsel
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation