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Coming Soon To A Court Near You – Convicting The Unrepresented At The Bail Stage: An Autopsy Of A State High Court’S Sua Sponte Rejection Of Indigent Defendants’ Right To Counsel, Douglas L. Colbert
Recently, the Maryland Court of Appeals became the first state court of last resort to reject Gideon v. Wainwright’s guarantee of counsel at the bail stage. In ruling sua sponte that bail is not a critical stage entitling indigent defendants to invoke their constitutional right to counsel, the Fenner Court held that statements offered by an unrepresented and non-Mirandized indigent defendant were admissible at trial. I contend that the Fenner ruling may transform the pretrial fact-gathering process by providing prosecutors with an additional source of evidence against indigent defendants, namely statements made at a judicial proceeding for the purpose ...