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Huckleberries Online

Time for Idaho to fix public defense

In an editorial this week, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune said:

"Friday, a panel of Idaho legislators seemed to have finally grasped the concept that the right to a fair trial -- guaranteed by the Sixth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution -- is a state obligation. In other words, the state cannot rely solely on tapped-out county budgets to continue bearing the entire burden of providing an adequate legal defense to people who are charged with a crime. If you want to fix the problem, members of the public Defense Reform Interim Committee suggested, you're going to have to accept an arrangement that sets the bar on what a criminal defendant has the right to expect from a public defender, a commission to enforce those standards and the money necessary to see that those goals can be met." More here.

Question: Do you think we Americans spend too much money on public defense for defendants who can't afford it?

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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