On television and in the movies, police officers read people their Miranda rights and tell them they will be provided a lawyer if they cannot afford one. But in reality, legal representation is rarely free. The Supreme Court has found the Constitution guarantees the right to counsel but allows states, in most cases, to try to recoup the cost. More than 40 do so, according to a 2022 report by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

Iowa takes these efforts to the extremes, an investigation by The Marshall Project found. Not only does Iowa impose some of the highest fees in the nation — affecting tens of thousands of people each year — it also charges poor people for legal aid even if they are acquitted or the cases against them are dropped.

Archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20240212131540/https://www.themarshallproject.org/2024/02/12/miranda-rights-indigent-defense-iowa

  • @jpreston2005
    312 months ago

    So whether you can afford it or not, whether you are guilty or not, whether you did anything wrong or not, you’re still gonna have to pay. why? Well, it’s not like we can hire/train professionals to deal with the enforcement arm of these terrible policies. best we can do is 3 months of on the job training. But don’t worry, if they mess everything up, you’ll always have your day in court! Which you’ll be charged for!

    So the real moral of the American justice story is, you only get it if you’re wealthy enough, but also if you’re wealthy enough you’re never beholden to it.

    • @[email protected]
      42 months ago

      If you’re gonna be fucked either way, might as well go big.

      At least there’s a chance you might go home then