Indigent Defendants Gain Right to Counsel in Maryland Bail Proceedings
This is a landmark win for individuals charged with a crime in Maryland, and one that Murphy, Falcon & Murphy's criminal defense attorneys offer their wholehearted support. The right to counsel has been a recognized constitutional right for state court proceedings for 50 years, but many states still do not require an attorney to be present at bail review hearings despite it's critical role for the accused. We hope that this remarkable decision urges other states to follow suit in ensuring equal access to the justice system for all defendants.
Founding partner Judge William H. "Billy" Murphy, Jr. spoke at length recently about the importance of legal representation during bail hearings in "Gideon Freedom Hearings", a short documentary produced by University of Maryland School of Law Professor Doug Colbert. Professor Colbert and his students were responsible for much of the work that led to the class action above.
Judge Murphy's remarks were part of a longer interview on bail hearings, which contextualized the problem within the framework of our modern day legal system. "Defendants who don't make bail lose the power to do prompt investigations…[they] lose the power to marshal the resources to hire a lawyer in a system where you get only the justice that you can afford," he says.
Take a moment to watch the full interview below.