Issues with Indiana public defense system

Yesterday the Sixth Amendment Center in Boston, released a study ( confirming what all Indiana criminal defense lawyers have known for years- that Indiana has no meaningful system of public defense. For years Indiana Courts have consciously ignored the inadequate and shamefully conflicted system of public defense currently in place in most Indiana Counties. (

Indiana’s lack of interest in the plight of poor defendants has resulted in a system where sentences for the same offenses vary widely from counties with real public defenders (Marion, Lake, and Monroe for example) to counties were Defendants have no access to counsel (Hancock) or only have access to conflicted, overworked, and inadequate counsel (Johnson).
Last year Saeed and Little, LLP sued Johnson County for failing to provide adequate public defense, the Sixth Amendment Center’s report validates the concerns raised in our lawsuit. It is our hope that lawyers around the State will take our lawsuit and the Sixth Amendment report and use them as a template and please seek justice for poor defendants in all parts of Indiana.
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