News Analysis : A Mockery Of Justice For The Poor Essay

1459 WordsDec 2, 20166 Pages
Rachel Mulder Professor Henry CCJS 201 1 December 2016 News Analysis Report #2 In the New York Times article, “A Mockery of Justice for the Poor,” the author discusses how the poor are cheated in the criminal justice system. By law, it is mandatory that the government provides an attorney to any defendant facing possible prison time, even if he or she cannot afford one. However, there are underlying fees that must be paid despite these people being poor. John Pfaff mentions how 43 states are now requiring indigent defendants to pay at least a portion of their lawyers’ fees, even though they had to be appointed one in the first place. Those who do qualify as indignant may be able to be acquitted, however, they could be convicted for failing to pay for the legal services the Constitution requires the states to provide for the defendants. Not to mention, spending money on attorneys for the poor amounts to only $2.3 billion – barely even 1% of the $200 billion the government spends annually on the criminal justice system (Pfaff 2016). Not surprisingly, public defenders who are appointed to these cases are often stripped of resources while tackling multiple other assignments at the same time. Mr. Pfaff takes his aim at the federal government, proclaiming that they should help fund indigent defense services by making an annual grant of $4 billion to state and local governments. In total, this would only be 0.3% of the federal government’s approximate $1.2 trillion budget (Pfaff

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