Caleb Bedillion

No Questions, Multiple Denials: This Mississippi Court Appoints Lawyers for Just 1 in 5 Defendants Before Indictment

Mississippi has long been known as one of the worst states for providing a lawyer to any defendant who can’t afford one. In one rural county, most defendants in a lower court went without any lawyer before their cases were sent to a grand jury.

The Mississippi Supreme Court Moved to Ensure Poor Criminal Defendants Would Always Have a Lawyer. It’s Not Working.

Months after the state’s highest court directed judges to ensure that all criminal defendants have legal representation while awaiting indictment, one justice has acknowledged that the rule isn’t being widely followed.

Mississippi Courts Won’t Say How They Provide Lawyers for Poor Clients

Six years ago, the Mississippi Supreme Court told judges around the state to file plans showing how they meet their obligations to poor defendants. This summer, amid increased scrutiny of public defense in the state, the first one was filed.

Mississippi Says Poor Defendants Must Always Have a Lawyer. Few Courts Are Ready to Deliver.

A rule requiring poor criminal defendants to have a lawyer throughout the criminal process took effect Saturday. Few courts in the state have plans in place.

ProPublica Partner Sues Mississippi County for Blocking Access to Search Warrants

A joint investigation found that many Mississippi courts thwart public scrutiny of search warrants. Experts say that violates long-standing norms of public access and the state’s public records law.

Some Are Jailed in Mississippi for Months Without a Lawyer. The State Supreme Court Just Barred That.

Criminal justice reformers have long complained that the state’s rules on appointing public defenders leave poor defendants without a lawyer as they wait to be indicted.

Complaint Filed Against Mississippi Judge for Failing to Hand Over Search Warrants to Clerk

The judge has signed a number of no-knock search warrants that have been challenged in court, but they weren’t on file at the clerk’s office.

Mississippi’s Missing Search Warrants Prevent Scrutiny of No-Knock Raids

No-knock warrants authorize police to burst into someone’s home unannounced. Search warrants are supposed to be filed at the courthouse, but they’re missing from many of Mississippi’s justice courts.

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