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50 years ago this Monday, the USSC asserted that there was a "right to counsel" in the case of "Gideon v. Wainwright" Justice Hugo Black justified it by saying

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 to him.

It occurs to me that this is simply substituting one set of rights violation...

  • Essentially forcing Lawyers to work-for / defend clients they might not otherwise choose.
  • Forcing the rest of us to pay for it.

...for another more fundamental one:

  • The overly complex, non-objective, non rights-respecting laws we currently have.

I suspect that a (somewhat) parallel case would be "mandatory healthcare" issues. Of course, most run-of-the-mill health issues are much simpler to attend to yourself than most law-related ones :)

asked Mar 15 '13 at 13:31

Jason%20Gibson's gravatar image

Jason Gibson ♦

edited Mar 15 '13 at 13:48

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦


Would "Forcing the rest of us to pay for it." still be applicable if defense was paid for using the same method that judges would be paid for if taxes were eliminated?

(Mar 15 '13 at 17:16) Humbug Humbug's gravatar image

What Humbug said. Also the same method that police and prisons would be paid for.

No one should be forced to pay for a trial. But if a group of individuals wants to, through government, exercise their right to pay for and hold a trial, they must hold a fair one. If no one is willing to pay for a fair trial (which in an adversary system requires representation for the accused), then the person remains free. The only one forced to do anything is the accused to stand trial.

This has nothing to do with "mandatory healthcare". A criminal trial is not held for the benefit of the accused.

(Mar 16 '13 at 17:02) anthony anthony's gravatar image

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Asked: Mar 15 '13 at 13:31

Seen: 771 times

Last updated: Mar 16 '13 at 17:07