Category: Indigent Defense

No Right to Counsel in South Carolina Summary Courts

Of course there is a right to counsel, at least when a person is sentenced to jail time, but it is systematically denied to defendants in our state’s summary courts. Indigent defendants in S.C.’s summary courts typically are not provided with court-appointed counsel, even in serious cases such as DUI or domestic violence (CDV).  In [..]

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South Carolina’s Unconstitutional Summary Courts

In April of 2016, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a report, entitled Summary Injustice: A Look at Constitutional Deficiencies in South Carolina’s Summary Courts, detailing the constitutional deficiencies in South Carolina’s summary courts. In January 2017, they released a follow-up report, entitled Rush to [..]

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PCR and Habeas Corpus in South Carolina

The S.C. Supreme Court held in In Re Chapman this month that persons committed as Sexually Violent Predators (SVP) have a right to effective assistance of counsel.  Although they cannot file a Post Conviction Relief (PCR) action, they can challenge an SVP commitment collaterally through Habeas proceedings. Post Conviction Relief (PCR) South Carolina has designated [..]

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Sink the Boat

The Missouri director of indigent defense, Michael Barrett, is making waves in Missouri with a letter sent to the state’s governor outlining the state’s failure to fund public defender offices, citing a Missouri statute authorizing the director of indigent defense to appoint any attorney in the state to represent indigents, and appointing the first case [..]

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