Civil Rights

Location, Location, Location: How The ACCA’s Categorical Approach Produces Vast Sentencing Discrepancies, and Why The Sentencing Guidelines Should Replace It

HALEY E. ROACH- J.D., May 2019, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law; B.A., May 2016, University of Dayton—Dayton, Ohio. John has lived his entire life in Gary, Indiana. He joined a gang when he was fourteen and has been in and out of the correctional system ever since. At nineteen, he and two other […]

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Public Defense Litigation: An Overview

In Gideon v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court held that all criminal defendants facing serious criminal charges are entitled to the assistance of counsel, regardless of whether they can afford an attorney. In the years since Gideon, however, the provision of public defense to those who cannot afford counsel has fallen far short of the ideal expressed in Gideon that “every defendant stands equal before the law.” The failure of public defense systems to provide adequate representation to indigent defendants is often caused by severe underfunding and has resulted in the chronic appointment of “incompetent or inexperienced” counsel; delays in the appointment of counsel and discontinuity of attorney representation; a lack of training and oversight for counsel representing indigent defendants; excessive public defender caseloads and understaffing of public defender offices; inadequate or nonexistent expert and investigative resources for defense counsel; and a lack of meaningful attorney-client contact.

One response to these failings—as is often the case when constitutional violations are afoot—has been to challenge them in court. The focus of this short Article is on how the courts can address and have addressed the failings of underfunded and structurally flawed indigent defense systems. More specifically, it explores lawsuits that identify systemic failures—such as underfunding, excessive caseloads, and inadequate training and oversight—and seeks system-wide remedies capable of transforming the provision of defense services.

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A Roadmap for Business and Social Movement Collaboration

by Kelly R. Eskew, J.D. Clinical Associate Professor Department of Business Law & Ethics Kelley School of Business, Indiana University 1309 East Tenth Street Bloomington, IN 47405 kreskew@indiana.edu This year, the Indiana General Assembly offered up Senate Bill 101 (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act or “RFRA”), [1] a law ostensibly intended to protect Hoosiers from […]

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