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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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How public defenders are suffering across the U.S.

What can be done when funds and public defenders are scarce? John Stuart, Minnesota State Public Defender, wrote an editorial in the Star Tribune back in March on the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright to call attention to the issues facing the public defense system in our nation. It seems, writes Stuart, that access to public counsel is at risk – both locally and nationally.

 

Gideon v. Wainwright established every person’s right to legal counsel, even if they couldn’t afford a lawyer. This right was already articulated in the U.S. constitution, but the 1963 Supreme Court case made state-appointed public defenders a legal right.

 

States want to provide quality legal defense, and Minnesota is no exception. In the face of what you might call a public defense crisis, Minnesota’s doing a lot – like providing well-educated, passionate people who practice law and work long hours every day to try and accomplish their case load.

 

But that’s the problem: really long hours. Minnesota public defense lawyers are overworked, trying to handle 250 new felony cases every year when the American Bar Association says 150 should be the limit.

 

Take a look at the infographic below, illustrating and summarizing the crisis on a local and national scale alike.

 

This infographic was created on behalf of the Law Office of Carolyn Agin Schmidt. Please share it so that more people can learn about the status of criminal representation in the U.S.

 

Brooke McDonald writes and blogs for Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Carolyn Agin Schmidt.

 

Our Blog

Feds Have Eyes on Chicago Cocaine Trade

Cocaine | Drug Crimes | Drug Trafficking

Drugs are a consistent problem in many large cities all over the nation, and recently, the federal government has taken a greater interest in Chicago. Although Chicago cartel affiliates primarily deal in heroin and fentanyl, feds currently have an eye out for an uptick in cocaine trafficking.

Why? Because cocaine production has increased dramatically in South American in recent years, according to the DEA.

In the past year, this agency has spent significant amounts of time and resources working to

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IL Felony Charges for Stealing Toiletries? Here’s How It Can Happen

Felonies | Shoplifting / Retail Theft | Theft

Some people assume that shoplifting is a minor crime. However, in Illinois, it’s anything but. Illinois has some of the harshest shoplifting laws on record. It’s all too easy for a momentary lapse of judgment to lead to serious felony charges.

That’s just what happened to one Illinois man recently. He is now facing five felony charges for allegedly stealing a few bottles of body wash, nails, lotion, and hand sanitizer from a Walgreens.

While he has a previous shoplifting

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Law Offices of Andrew Weisberg