Q: Who picks up the tab for criminal defense in this country?
A: You do.
One of the innovations of the Warren Court was its 1963 decision in Gideon v. Wainwright that accused felons have a right to counsel provided by the state. Nine years later, in Argersinger v. Hamlin, the Court held that counsel must be provided whenever a criminal charge, whether or not denominated a felony, might result in imprisonment.
So who pays the bill? I have not been able to find very recent statistics, but according to the PBS program "Presumed Guilty," using figures provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 1998, roughly 66 percent of all federal felony defendants were represented by public defenders or other publicly funded counsel. At the county level, in 1996, 82 percent of felony defendants in the 75 most populous counties used public defenders.
OK, next issue:
Q: Does the criminal defense for which you're shelling out millions emphasize candid, straightforward, unvarnished truth telling?
A: Don't get me started.