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52 U. Louisville L. Rev. Online 41 (2013)
Remarks at the 2013 Annual Kentucky Bar Association Convention
Amy Bach*
Abstract

Kentucky created a statewide Public Defender system and other infrastructure to deliver on the right to counsel four decades ago. Yet, the caseloads of public defenders here exceed national caseload caps—often nearly double the acceptable volume. Over the last four years, caseloads have risen ten percent. And as recently as 2008, these circumstances prompted public defender leaders (Ernie Lewis, Dan Goyette and Ed Monahan) to sue the state. They argued that resources were insufficient to secure the rights of defendants and operations through the remainder of that fiscal year. Fulfilling the promise of the Gideon decision requires more than the presence of attorneys.

* Amy Bach is executive director of Measures for Justice (MFJ) and author of Ordinary Injustice, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize. In 2011, Echoing Green named MFJ one of the 15 most innovative social ventures worldwide.