WHEREAS, in Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), the United States Supreme Court concluded that "reason and reflection require us to recognize that in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him". The Gideon court declared that "lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries", and it required that states must provide counsel to indigent defendants in felony cases;
WHEREAS, Gideon's mandate under the federal Sixth Amendment right to counsel, made obligatory upon the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, has consistently been extended to any case that may result in the potential loss of liberty including misdemeanors1, juvenile delinquency proceedings2, direct appeals3, and other critical stages4 in criminal and delinquency proceedings;
WHEREAS, the Pennsylvania State Constitution, Article 1 Section 9, recognizes the right of the accused "to be heard by himself and his counsel"; and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, thorough its rule making authority5 and case decisions6, has continued to recognize and to expand the right to counsel;
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through the Public Defender Act, 16 P.S. Sections 9960.1 et seq., has delegated to the counties the delivery of indigent defense legal representation services through the establishment of public defender offices funded by the counties7;
WHEREAS, in Philadelphia County, indigent defense legal representation services for adults and children are provided through the Defender Association of Philadelphia and through the Municipal and Common Pleas Courts' assigned counsel programs in the First Judicial District;
WHEREAS, the American Bar Association ("ABA") studied and considered the evidenced based, best practices for the delivery of effective, efficient, high quality, ethical and conflict –free representation of accused persons who cannot afford to hire an attorney, and, in 2002, adopted the TEN PRINCIPLES OF A PUBLIC DEFENSE DELIVERY SYSTEM8 which are recognized as the national standard for indigent defense delivery systems;
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section has reviewed and considered the ABA TEN PRINCIPLES OF A PUBLIC DEFENSE DELIVERY SYSTEM, and it has recommended that the Board of Governors endorse the ABA TEN PRINCIPLES as the best practices standard for the delivery of indigent defense legal representation services in Philadelphia County;
NOW,THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association adopts and endorses the ABA TEN PRINCIPLES OF A PUBLIC DEFENSE DELIVERY SYSTEM as the best practices standard and formal criteria for the systemic delivery of indigent defense legal representation services in Philadelphia County.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association is authorized to take whatever steps are deemed necessary and appropriate to effectuate this Resolution, including the communication of this position to the public.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: June 30, 2011
1Argersinger v. Hamlin, 407 U.S.25 (1972)
2In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967)
3Douglas v. California, 372 U.S. 353 (1963)
4Line-ups: U.S. v. Wade, 388 U.S. 218 (1970); custodial interrogation: Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1967); preliminary hearings: Coleman v. Alabama, 399 U.S. 1 (1970); misdemeanors involving a suspended sentence: Shelton v. Alabama, 535 U.S. 654 (2002). Prior to Gideon, this right had only been applied to death penalty cases: Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45 (1932)
5See Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rules 121 & 122; Pennsylvania Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure, Rule 151.
6See; Commonwealth v. Richman, 320 A.2d 351 (Pa. 1974); Commonwealth v. Karash, 518 A.2d 537, 541 (Pa. 1986); Commonwealth v. De Hart, 516 A.2d 656, 665-666 (Pa. 1986) (cert denied at 483 U.S. 1010 (1987)); Commonwealth v. Brown, 476 A.2d 381 (Pa. Super. 1984).
7Pennsylvania is the only state that provides no funding to indigent defense, resting the entire fiscal responsibility of indigent defense up to its counties. The Spangenberg Project, The Center for Justice, Law and Society at George Mason University, State, County and Local Expenditures for Indigent Defense Services Fiscal Year 2008 at 2, 5, 55, 74-76, Appx. 10 (November 2010).
8The ABA Ten Principles were adopted by the full House of Delegates following study and recommendation from the following ABA committees: Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, Criminal Justice Section, Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division, Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children, Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, and Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. The ABA Ten Principles are also attached hereto.