by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
When taxpayers fund lawyers for poor people, aren’t they just funneling money to criminals? Thomas Maher, executive director of the N.C. Office of Indigent Defense Services, has heard that argument. Maher counters that the Sixth Amendment requires effective counsel for criminal defendants, even those who can’t afford to hire their own lawyers.
That was just one of the key points Maher made during a presentation to the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society. It was a presentation designed to make a nonpartisan case for supporting IDS’ work.
In the video clip below, Maher discusses growing support across party and ideological divides for criminal justice reform.
4:15 p.m. update: Click play below to watch the full presentation.