Graduation Year

Summer 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Paul Hurley

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© 2013 Christopher B. Blomberg


This thesis concerns the violation of the right to a fair trial by the appointment of ineffective public defenders. The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees the right to appointed counsel if a defendant cannot afford it. The first section of the thesis focuses on how the history of the case law which constitutionally mandates effective appointed counsel for all United States citizens who cannot afford otherwise. However, this right is not being fulfilled for millions of American citizens. The judicial system is structured so that many indigent accused criminals are convinced by their overworked and underpaid public defenders to plead guilty. This "meet and plead" style of representation expedites the trial process at the expense of indigent defendants. The second section covers the epidemic of fair trial rights violations in the United States. In order to fix this problem there are solutions that the Supreme Court, trial courts, and the legislature can address. The third and final section concludes the thesis with a discussion of possible remedies for the deficiencies of the American public defender conglomerate.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.