If you are Black and you get a White public defender, do you have a constitutional right to a Black public defender?

Asked 10 months ago - Raleigh, NC

If you are Black and you get a White public defender, do you have a constitutional right to a Black public defender?

I think it is called a Batson counsel request or something like that.

Attorney answers (9)

  1. Peter Christian Komar

    Contributor Level 14

    18

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No

  2. Christopher Daniel Leroi

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. Race has nothing to do with counsel. A Batson challenge is if one of the attorneys excuses a JUROR from the jury pool solely based on race.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to... more
  3. Stephen F Wallace

    Contributor Level 19

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As Mr. Solis said, you can always hire you own, but the Public defender is assigned. I am really surprised that you would think race would afford a better criminal defense. I know many of the Public Defenders in Wake County, and there are no slackers there.

  4. Sarah Jessica Farber

    Contributor Level 14

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The Wake County Public Defender's Office has some of the finest attorneys in the county, without respect to race.

    This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to form a client/lawyer relationship. You... more
  5. Joshua Sachs

    Contributor Level 19

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. Batson is something altogether different.

  6. Lynn Norton-Ramirez

    Contributor Level 10

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No. If you qualify for the appointment of counsel, you do not get to select the race of your counsel. Your question is indicative of racism. I am a white attorney and defend all my clients with the same level of skill regardless of race. Attorneys work for the Public Defender's Office because they want to ensure that people of all socio-economic backgrounds receive the benefit of quality representation. A Batson motion is where one side removes jurors from a panel for racial or prejudicial reasons.

  7. Anthony Michael Solis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Case law firmly establishes that if you have appointed counsel, you don't get counsel of your choice and you certainly don't get your racial preference.
    As my colleagues suggest, Batson has nothing to do with right to counsel, it's a case regarding race and jury selection.

    No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT... more
  8. Jerome Weldon Matthews Jr

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, you do not have a right to a black public defender.

  9. Timothy Foster Lloyd

    Contributor Level 11

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As a former Assistant Public Defender may I advise that you do them a favor and hire an attorney?

    This general legal advice does not create an attorney-client relationship. Every case is individual and to have... more

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