Regarding the news story “Reimbursement rates cut for court-appointed private attorneys” (Sept. 10 and TribLIVE.com): This decision by senior federal circuit court judges is a highly regrettable action.
The federal government and state courts like to pretend that indigent defendants can obtain (and indeed, are entitled to) essential legal counsel. However, in many instances, the courts do not approve even reasonably modest fees for attorneys and appropriate experts in such cases. The system is to a great extent a sham — unethical, immoral hypocrisy.
In medicine, if an indigent patient requires a particular kind of diagnostic or therapeutic procedure, the system pays for appropriate, fully trained specialists to perform whatever is necessary. The patients are not operated upon by a medical student or intern.
Why is there not an outcry by intelligent, decent, fair-minded judges, attorneys, news media, etc., about this blatant travesty of justice?
Cyril H. Wecht
The writer is a former Allegheny County coroner.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.