Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Catholic, Civil Rights, leaders urge Cuomo to sign indigent defense bill

New York Law Journal:
New York state's Roman Catholic church leaders and a coalition of civil rights and legal groups are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to approve state takeover of local government costs of legal representation for indigent criminal defendants.

"The Catholic Conference believes a well-resourced indigent legal defense program is firmly in keeping with our long-standing advocacy of criminal justice reform and must be supported," the executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, Richard Barnes, said in a letter to the governor Nov. 23.


In a separate letter earlier this month, national NAACP President Cornell William Brooks told Cuomo that the faults of "New York's underfunded patchwork system are well-documented."

Brooks was joined by leaders of the Brennan Center for Justice, the Fund for Modern Courts, the Innocence Project, the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and 16 other groups.