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Reading is difficult. As a writer, I help the reader every way I can think of. As a reader, I work hard not to miss the big things in the middle of the road.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Which Criminal Defendants Have the Right to Appointed Counsel at Trial and on Appeal?

The Sixth Amendment guarantees indigent defendants, in state and federal criminal proceedings, appointed counsel in any case in which a term of imprisonment is imposed.United States v. Bryant, 136 S. Ct. 1954, 1958, 195 L. Ed. 2d 317 (2016) The federal constitution imposes on the states no obligation to provide appellate review of criminal convictions. McKane v. Durston, 153 U.S. 684, 687 (1894). Where an indigent has only one appeal, that person has a right to counsel as to that appeal. Douglas v. Cal., 372 U.S. 353, 357 (1963). A state need not appoint counsel to aid a poor person in discretionary appeals to the State's highest court, or in petitioning for review in the Supreme Court of the United States. Cf. Ross v. Moffitt, 417 U.S. 600, 615 (U.S. 1974).


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