Thursday, June 16, 2016

New York passes bill pass bill requiring state pay for legal services for poor defendants
The New York State Senate on Thursday passed a bill that requires the state to pay the full cost of providing lawyers to poor defendants accused of crimes, a burden that largely falls to counties now.

The counties paid $372 million of the $521 million spent in 2014 to provide attorneys to indigent defendants.

Under Sen. John DeFrancisco's bill, the full cost of providing legal counsel to indigent defendants would gradually shift from the counties to the state over seven years, beginning in 2017. New York only partially reimburses counties for this cost now....

The bill would save counties huge amounts of money....

In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a landmark decision, ruled that states are required under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to provide legal counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford to pay their own attorneys.

[Until this] New York is one of the few states where the counties shoulder the bulk of complying with the Supreme Court's ruling

More here.