The Sixth Amendment allows the due process right to council. Several Supreme Court cases have clarified this right for those who cannot afford their own attorneys. Discuss the right to an attorney for indigent defendants. What are the three main systems of legal aid for those who cannot afford their own attorney? Do you think the quality of defense differs for those who hire their own attorney? Some states are considering using novelties such as more than $100 in a bank account, cigarette purchases, and cell phone ownership as indicators of wealth. Thus, an individual with such possessions would have to pay a fee for a public appointed attorney. Do you agree with this idea? Why or why not?
Discuss the role that race plays for the jury selection process. What has previous case law determined regarding peremptory challenges? Should race be an issue when selecting a jury? Why or why not? Should there be other demographic factors considered in the jury selection process (i.e. gender, income, religion, sexual orientation)?
Lastly: How has the role of the victim in criminal proceeding changed over time? What impact do you think victim’s rights will have for the system as a whole? In the process of restoration, what societal benefits might be achieved?