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Tim Testifies Before Maine Legislature on Clifford Commission Bill

I was pleased to testify yesterday before the Maine Legislature's Judiciary Committee in support of LD1132, a Bill based on the Clifford Commission Report. The Bill seeks to create an independent commission that will be in charge of delivering constitutionally required counsel services for those who qualify in criminal, juvenile and child protective custody matters. The current $10,000,000 budget for this Counsel is in the hands of the Judiciary. This is troubling, because the same judge who writes the check for court-appointed counsel is also the same judge who makes decisions on that lawyer's cases. The Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers ("MACDL") supports this bill, which I represented yesterday to the Committee. MACDL does suggest an amendment to the bill which would give MACDL the exclusive nominating control over one seat on the Commission. The Bill will head to the work session later this month, where the language of the proposed MACDL Amendment will be presented. --TZ

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