Voucherizing indigent criminal defense

by Walter Olson on January 9, 2014

A reform proposal floated in a 2010 Cato Institute policy analysis is now becoming a pilot project in one Texas county. More: Greenfield.

{ 1 comment }

1 nl7 01.09.14 at 10:36 am

Will put pressure on how to adjust the eligibility cutoffs, since the subsidy frees defendants from using attorneys they consider less effective. Will probably involve a phaseout as income rises rather than cutting an equal check for every defendant.

It’s not crazy to make the jurisdiction pay for some of the defense costs of every prosecution it follows (especially if increased costs reduce zealous over-prosecution) but it would be very unpopular to hand over checks to the best-paid lawyers in equal amount to lawyers defending the indigent.

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