Learn More About the Defender Initiative
The Defender Initiative Briefs and Reports
The Defender Initiative has filed amicus curiae briefs in a variety of trial and appellate courts.
The Sixth Amendment Center and The Defender Initiative
The Defender Initiative worked with the Sixth Amendment Center to prepare a report on public defense in Utah.
Read the Utah public defense report.
The Sixth Amendment Center, The Defender Initiative, Robert C. Boruchowitz, and the Fred T. Korematsu Center
May 1, 2015
The Defender Initiative worked with the Sixth Amendment Center to do an analysis of the compensation for assigned counsel in Wisconsin. The report found that in paying private assigned counsel either $40 per hour or in some cases a flat fee of approximately $248 per case, Wisconsin violates the ABA Ten Principles' demand that appointed counsel be paid both a "reasonable fee" and "actual overhead expenses". The report was commissioned by the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
SU Law Professor Deirdre Bowen assisted on the project with statistical analysis and law students Nicole Beges and Phil Chinn provided research assistance.
Read the report on assigned counsel compensation in Wisconsin.
Download the report from SixAmendment.org (PDF).
Peter A. Collins, Robert C. Boruchowitz, Matthew J. Hickman, and Mark A. Larrañaga
January 1, 2015
The purpose of this study was to estimate the costs associated with pursuit of the death penalty, as compared to cases where the death penalty was not sought, for aggravated first-degree murder cases in Washington State.
Read the Death Penalty Report.
Read more about the Death Penalty study.
The Defender Initiative, ACLU of South Carolina, and Robert C. Boruchowitz
June 30, 2012
Professor Boruchowitz worked with the ACLU of South Carolina and two lawyers in private practice to file an in an appeal from a Hilton Head Island Municipal Court trial in which the defendant did not receive a public defender despite a formal written request, and also filed a judicial misconduct complaint against a judge.
Read the ACLU of South Carolina brief.
Robert C. Boruchowitz and Lucie Bernheim
November 14, 2011
Working with his research assistant Lucie Bernheim, Professor Boruchowitz filed an amicus brief in the Washington Supreme Court in 2011 in a personal restraint petition case on an issue relating to sufficiency of the evidence in a prosecution for vehicular homicide and vehicular assault based on alleged impairment from smoking marijuana. The brief pointed out inconsistency in the testimony of the state's toxicologist and that there is no scientific consensus on what level of marijuana consumption impairs driving. The PRP was denied.
Read the amicus brief.
Amicus Brief of the Defender Initiative and Washington Defender Association in Support of Motion to Appoint Counsel
The Defender Initiative, Robert C. Boruchowitz, and Counsel for Defendant
January 24, 2011
The Initiative filed this amicus brief in the Clallam County (Washington) District Court urging that a person whose income is above the statutory poverty guideline but has expenses greater than his income is entitled to a public defender. The Washington Defender Association co-signed the brief. The judge initially had ruled that the defendant was not eligible for appointed counsel. The court then appointed counsel but required that the defendant reimburse the County $350, despite the fact that he had a debt of $7000.
Read Clallam County support of motion to appoint counsel brief.
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Robert C. Boruchowitz, Malia N. Brink, and Maureen Dimino
Professor Boruchowitz and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers collaborated on this project, which showed that the explosive growth of misdemeanor cases is placing a staggering burden on America's courts. Defenders across the country are forced to carry unethical caseloads that leave too little time for clients to be properly represented. As a result, constitutional obligations are left unmet and taxpayers' money is wasted.
Read Minor Crimes, Massive Waste: The Terrible Toll of America's Broken Misdemeanor Courts
This website is funded in part through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).