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Democracy Enhancement And The Sixth Amendment Right To Choose, Janet Moore Feb 2015

Democracy Enhancement And The Sixth Amendment Right To Choose, Janet Moore

Janet Moore

A democracy deficit undermines the legitimacy of criminal justice systems. People enmeshed in these systems are disproportionately poor people and people of color with little voice in creating or implementing the governing law. A stark example is the Sixth Amendment right to choose a lawyer. This understudied and undertheorized right is protected for criminal defendants who can afford to hire counsel. Yet according to Supreme Court dicta and rulings by other courts across the country, poor people “have no right to choose” their lawyers. This Article argues that the Sixth Amendment right to choose should apply to the overwhelming majority ...