Lack of Qualified Lawyers for Misdemeanor Offenses

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Larry Marsh is an American man who has been homeless his entire life. Police say that he has no place to go. At the same time, he has struggled with drug addiction and mental illness during this entire time. This is what has led him to be arrested for over 270 times in what the police refer to as trespassing. For instance, he was arrested four times in one day last December. This misdemeanor offense has seen the 58-year-old man serve many small stints in jail. Not only has he been in jail, but he has also served time in prison. People who know the guy say that he has never had a lawyer at any given time. However, in America, having the representation of a lawyer is a fundamental right. This is something that has been made possible by the Sixth Amendment and has further been emphasized by the US Supreme Court. The Sixth Amendment and the US Supreme Court stipulate that anyone looking into time in prison regardless of the offense should be represented by legal counsel. However, despite the stipulation by these legal mechanisms, people in America have always complained about been represented by lawyers who are incompetent at their best. These are lawyers who are grossly overworked and even underfunded.

The problem is even worse in the municipal courts. These are the courts that are supposed to take care of low-level crimes. The problem is that poor defendants in these courts do not get the representation of any lawyer. Some of the recent places where these claims have been received include Miami-Dade and Nashville courtroom. This prompted Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa to organize some hearings that were supposed to address the issue. He said that in these small cases where defendants are brought with misdemeanor cases, the right to a lawyer is often ignored. The lack of assistance legally has resulted to what the lawyers refer to a senseless churn where the taxpayer ends paying heavily. For instance, Mr. Marsh was re-arrested in July after being released from prison the same day. During sentencing, these people have to choose between parting with $250 and a month in jail. Since they don’t have the $250 with them, they choose jail. At the end of the month, the state will have used $1,650 on him. Some towns and cities in America have been sued for failing to represent defendants such as Bluffton town.

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