“To truly guarantee adequate representation for low-income defendants, we must ensure that public defenders’ caseloads allow them to do an effective job,” Mr. Holder said in a statement. “The Department of Justice is committed to addressing the inequalities that unfold every day in America’s courtrooms.”
The lawsuit, which was filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union, has been winding through the courts for seven years and is set for trial on Oct. 7. It names three upstate counties — Onondaga, Schuyler and Washington — and Suffolk County on Long Island as defendants.
Commentary: The legal defense services provided to the poor in the named counties isn't much different than those received by poor NYC residents. If the above case is successful, it could result in a similar case which strives to improve the services NYC poor receive.