Ineffective counsel

Garner, Curtis



Garner Curtis Pennsylvania 3-28-15 Saturday Ineffective Counsel All agents and agencies involved in the criminal justice system of Philadelphia county are aware of the overcrowded unconstitutional conditions within the Philadelphia prison system. To wit, a concerted endeavor to ensure citizens rights should be assumed by this municipality. ..."the duty to intercede is heightened in a prison setting, where the state has restrained an individuals liberty to such a degree that he can no longer care for or protect himself." (Kessler v. King, S.D. Texas 1998) Attorneys appointed as counsel habitually do not consult with pre-trial detainees, which denies effective assistance of counsel as per the 6th Constitutional Amendment. Cities and counties may be liable for constitutional violations caused by a "custom or usage" that is "so permanent and well settled as to have a force of law." (Monell v. New York City Dept. of Social Services) In turn, "the notion of law includes deeply embedded traditional ways of carrying out state policy." (Fundiller v. City of Cooper City (11th cir. 1985) The District Attorney and all judges are aware of court appointed attorney procedure, in fact, "the policy making officials of the municipality can be said to have either actual or constructive knowledge of it, yet did nothing to end the practice." This establishes liability under the "deliberate indifference" standard by which municipal policy is governed. Baron v. Suffolk County Sheriffs Dept. (1st cir. 2005). Gibson v. County of Washoe, NW. (9th cir. 2002). Knowledge of this condition has not stopped the D.A.'s office from prosecuting defendants ineffectively assisted to the full extent of the law. Court appointed attorneys also continue to "go through the motions" of defense; creating an illusion of legality. "Municipalities may also be liable for the lack of adequate policies if their absence amounts to deliberate indifference." Conn v. City of Reno (9th Cir. 2009). Courts have identified several situations where municipal liability can be found without individual liability. "The combined conduct of several municipal employees acting pursuant to municipal policy may add up to a constitutional violation if none of the named defendants individually violated this constitution." Barrett v. Orange County Human Rights Commission (2nd Cir. 1999). A municipality's failure to provide adequate funding, staffing, or procedures may cause a constitutional violation even if "the individual staff members involved are doing the best they can in a bad situation." Thomas v. Cook County Sheriffs' Dept. (7th Cir. 2009) (Finding municipal deliberate indifference when breakdown in procedure made it impossible for staff to respond adequately.) - Curtis Garner

Author: Garner, Curtis

Author Location: Pennsylvania

Date: October 19, 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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