R2C National Campaign: August 2016 Newsletter



In a letter dated August 2, 2016, Missouri State Public Defender (MSPD) Director Michael Barrett exercised his authority through a unique provision of legislation and assigned Missouri Governor Jay Nixon a criminal case. As indicated in Missouri Statute Section 600.042.1, the Director of MSPD has the authority to assign legal representation to any member of the Missouri state bar; in this instance, Barrett assigned a case to Governor Nixon. While a judge ruled on August 25, 2016 in favor of Governor Nixon, stating that only the court can assign cases, the original assignment has attracted national attention. What prompted this unusual maneuver and how did Barrett come to find himself leading this effort?

Read more here.

Consortium Members Update

Next Quarterly Webinar

Please join us for our next Right to Counsel Quarterly Webinar on Thursday, September 8th at 2 PM ET. The webinar will focus on a variety of ways to create policy and systemic change. Topics will include:

• An update on federal legislation and national reform efforts by Madhu Grewal, The Constitution Project

• A discussion about how indigent defense research can impact change and be combined with other strategies to push for reform with Andy Davies, New York Office of Indigent Legal Services

• A presentation on how community organizations can aid indigent defense advocacy efforts by Allison Gibbs, Just City

To attend this webinar, please register here.

Please contact Genevieve Citrin at citrin@american.edu if you have any questions. We hope you will be able to attend!

National Association of Counties

NACo will be presenting at the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies annual conference on Tuesday September 13th, 2016 from 4:10 PM - 5:00 PM. The workshop is entitled The Importance of Legal Counsel in Pretrial Justice. Colette Tvedt, Director of Public Defense Training and Reform at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Robin Lipetzky, Chief Public Defender in Contra Costa County, California, will be presenting.

The session will provide information on the research that shows that individuals who are held in jail for even short periods of time before trial have been shown to have worse outcomes, from greater risk of unemployment to higher recidivism rates. Colette and Robin will discuss successful strategies that can help jurisdictions ensure effective representation at the pretrial stage and the benefits that arise from early representation.

American Judges Association

Annual Conference, September 25-30, Toronto, ON, Canada
September 28 Session: Judge’s Role in Ensuring Constitutional Right to Counsel

Discussion on the role judiciary plays in meaningfully and effectively carrying out the constitutional right to counsel. The panelists will provide an overview on the state of right to counsel in Canada and United States and delve into progresses made in states with respect to right to counsel over the recent years, including a discussion about the newly launched U.S. Department of Justice’s National Campaign on the Right to Counsel (R2C).


Norman L. Reimer, Executive Director, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Judge Betty T. Moore, Shelby County, Tennessee
Justice James Stribopoulos, Ontario Court of Justice

Do you have updates?

Please continue the R2C momentum and contact either Preeti Menon (pmenon@american.edu) or Genevieve Citrin (citrin@american.edu) with your organization’s current work in advancing the right to counsel.

New Consortium Members

Please join us and become a consortium member and/or help us spread the word about R2C!

In The News

Editorial: These lawyers don’t get paid enough; at least pay them on time, The Boston Globe (August 8, 2016)

Justice Department Says Poor Can't Be Held When They Can't Afford Bail, by Pete Williams, NBC News (August 19, 2016)

Court told money short for Missouri death row inmate defense, by Jim Salter, The Associated Press (August 22, 2016)

An Open Letter to the Next Missouri Governor, by David Carroll, Sixth Amendment Center (August 11, 2016)

An Arkansas Judge Sent A Cancer Patient To ‘Debtors’ Prison’ Over A Few Bounced Checks, by Ryan J. Reilly, The Huffington Post (August 24, 2016)

Missouri Governor shows why indigent defense crisis will not be fixed without defender independence, by David Carroll, Sixth Amendment Center (August 29, 2016)

Call For Blogs and Shareable Content

If you are interested in blogging for R2C or have other published pieces that the Campaign should know about, please contact Ivan Dominguez (idominguez@nacdl.org) or Ezra Dunkle-Polier (edunkle-polier@nacdl.org).

Contact Details

Project Director: Preeti Menon (pmenon@american.edu)

Like R2C on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Join the conversation with #Right2Counsel