New policy for legal representation in criminal court says Attorney General Holder

Stefani Camille
October 14, 2014

attorney general nate holderThe Attorney General’s office is making strides to reform the criminal justice system. In doing so, it has made a step towards how a criminal defendant is represented in court. A new policy bolsters the department’s commitment to ensuring that individuals are ably represented as they face criminal charges.

Attorney General Eric Holder, along with Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, announced today that the Department of Justice will no longer ask criminal defendants who plead guilty to waive their right to bring future claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Attorney General Holder went on to say that “Everyone in this country who faces criminal legal action deserves the opportunity to make decisions with the assistance of effective legal counsel.” Also, “Under this policy, no defendant will have to forego their right to able representation in the course of pleading guilty to a crime. In addition, federal prosecutors will no longer ask defendants to waive future claims of ineffective assistance of counsel in plea agreements.

The new policy went out to all federal prosecutors of 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices, which is to ensure that all U.S. Attorneys follow the same uniform procedures.

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