Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Justice System Hammered by Sequestration

I recently saw a spate of articles asserting that sequestration hasn't been that bad, that no one was really hurt by it, and that federal agencies had coped just fine. The Huffington Post, among others, has been running excellent articles debunking this myth and documenting the devastation inflicted on many Americans by the ill-advised mandatory budget cuts, which are hitting agencies that provide services particularly hard. Among the victims are the federal court system, and in particular the agency responsible for providing defense for thousands of federal criminal defendants -- the Federal Defender Organization. The US Courts are being decimated by sequestration. The result will be the denial of constitutional rights, including to due process, to serve on juries, and to have constitutionally effective counsel, to a staggering number of people.

Many others have detailed the situation better than I, so I have gathered below a small sample of articles from around the country on the issue. These articles demonstrate that the crisis is nationwide.

Austin American-Statesman
Federal courts in Texas brace for leaner budgets

Judiciary Needs More Resources

Daily Astorian
Sequestration Pummels Oregon's Federal Courts

Huffington Post
Sequestration's Biggest Victim: The Public Defender System

Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Cuts might jeopardize U.S. public defenders in the isles

Las Cruces Sun-News
Defense attorney says slashed budget will erode constitutional rights, won't save feds money

Daily Bulletin
Public Defenders Warn Of Dire Budget cuts

Santa Fe New Mexican
Public defender cuts may hike costs, jeopardize justice

Federal cuts hit Philadelphia defenders

The Atlantic
How the Sequester Threatens the U.S. Legal System