On September 25, the US Department of Justice submitted a “statement of interest” in Hurrell-Harring v. State of New York, a class action lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the law firm of Schulte, Roth & Zabel challenging deprivations of the constitutional right to counsel in New York. This is the first time that the Department of Justice has weighed in on public defense in a state court proceeding in the more than 50 years since the US Supreme Court held in Gideon v. Wainwright that states must provide the right to counsel to poor people accused of crimes.
Since it was filed in 2007, Hurrell-Harring has benefitted from the work of at least five semesters of students in the NYU New York Civil Liberties Clinic, taught by Adjunct Professor and NYCLU Senior Staff Attorney Corey Stoughton and Clinical Professor of Law Claudia Angelos. Stoughton is the NYCLU’s lead counsel on this case. Students in recent semesters have assisted in successfully defending against a motion for summary judgment and have prepared witness examination outlines in preparation for trial. Trial is scheduled to begin on October 7, 2014, in Albany County Supreme Court.
Posted September 26, 2014