News

Bill would help fund lawyers for poor

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 8, 2014 4:02 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A state senator says the chamber is taking a first step toward trying to change Pennsylvania's status as the only state government that doesn't help the poor get lawyers to defend them in criminal

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The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill today to create the Pennsylvania Center for Effective Indigent Defense Legal Representation and give it $1 million to start training lawyers. It passed 8 to 6.

The sponsor, Senator Stewart Greenleaf, says Pennsylvania isn't providing the right to a fair trial for the poor and that violates a 51-year-old U.S. Supreme Court decision.

A unanimous high court declared in 1963 that states must provide defendants with lawyers to ensure a fair trial for the accused. The Pennsylvania Bar Association and American Civil Liberties Union support the bill.

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Comments: 1

  • smithann635 img 2014-07-14 05:22

    People are very poor. They can’t pay for any help. Citizens get funds online for living. Our president has to pay more attention to the economic situation in the country and give people more opportunities in development. For development they need money. If government will help people our country won’t have any financial problems.

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