University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "(Un)Luckey v. Miller: The Case for a Structural Injunction to Improve Indigent Defense Services"
Date November 1991
Author Rodger Citron
Author Institution Yale Law School
Author Role Law Student
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Abstract This Note argues that litigation seeking a structural injunction--a detailed remedial order providing affirmative relief--to improve state systems for providing indigent defense services is necessary to promote compliance with the requirements of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Part I of the Note sketches the contours of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel and outlines the systemic inadequacies plaguing existing indigent defense systems. Part II criticizes the current legal system's reliance on post-conviction review of individual cases to address ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Judges have been reluctant to abandon this case-by-case review in favor of prospective structural reform of indigent criminal defense systems. By describing ongoing litigation in Georgia, Part II presents a case study of judicial opposition to such structural reform. Part III presents the case for a structural injunction to reform indigent defense systems and concludes with suggestions courts should consider when structuring the remedial decree. It describes the salutary effect of the Arizona Supreme Court's decision in State v. Smith, which provided clear instructions for the provision of indigent services in Mohave County and resulted in increased funding for those services. The Note argues that courts should employ a similar technique of issuing reform guidelines with specific goals for the provision of indigent defense services when the political branches are unwilling to provide adequate funds.
Citation Note, 101 Yale L.J. 481 (1991)

This Resource Relates To
case Luckey v. Miller (PD-GA-0002)

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