AACC Assistance of Counsel Discussion
Prior to presenting your discussion postings watch the Effective Assistance of Counsel, Constitutional Standardvideo, read the Effective Assistance of Counsel article, the Criminal Procedure article, the Right to Counsel article and review the Supreme Court Opinions synopses.
What is assistance of counsel?
For example: Two college friends, Richard and Peter are arrested by the Capital City police. They are accused of murder for setting fire to the Capital City University administration building one night and causing the death of a janitor in the fire. Both Richard and Peter were members of a student organization that claimed that the administration of the University was corrupt, and at a rally they carried signs outside the building that read “Burn it to the ground.”
Richard’s father is very rich. He hires a team of the most expensive lawyers in the country, and after an eight-day trial, Richard is acquitted by a jury. Richard’s lawyers sought and received a separate trial for him.
Peter’s parents have no money, and Peter has massive student loans and works two jobs to pay for school. He is represented by a public defender who has 120 other cases. Though the public defender does his best with limited time and resources, Peter is convicted after a three-day jury trial.
Peter is now appealing his conviction, claiming that having a public defender with 120 cases effectively denied his right to counsel.
Was this a violation of Peter’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel? Fully explain your answer. Be sure to support your answer with scholarly sources and appellate court opinions. Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references.