U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Could Change Court's Procedures - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Could Change Court's Procedures

James Farren, Randall County District Attorney James Farren, Randall County District Attorney
Jeff Blackburn, Amarillo Defense Attorney Jeff Blackburn, Amarillo Defense Attorney

Defendants now have the right to an attorney much sooner because of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Earlier this week Justices gave what some say is a landmark ruling by deciding the first time a defendant is eligible for a lawyer, is the initial time they face a judge to hear charges against them.

The uniting feeling among law experts is that this decision will change court procedures.

"Any event is part of that advicariable process including questioning you, having hearings, pre-trial hearings, and certainly trial are going to be void unless you have an attorney," said James Farren, the Randall County District Attorney

One local defense attorney says this national ruling will require Texas to update it's procedures when dealing with defendants and court appointed attorney's.

"We have been living in the 18th century fantasy in Texas, and this decision along, with a handful of others that have come down recently from the Supreme Court, I hope, is going to make us at least live in the 19th century if not the twenty first," said Jeff Blackburn, an Amarillo Defense Attorney.

Farren thinks this decision will cost taxpayers thousands in court fees.

Where as Blackburn thinks this may be the start to Texas adopting a brand new public defender system.

But both say it will take several years to see the impact of this decision.

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