Should a butcher be required to provide free meat? Should a plumber give free services? Should a stripper give free lap dances?
Why would anyone think a lawyer should be required to provide free services anymore than any other professional?
The U.S. Constitution already provides legal counsel, known as a public defender, for those who can not afford an attorney. Providing even more free legal services would certainly not discourage anyone from committing a crime. Perhaps taking away the right to free legal counsel would be the better action to take in an effort to deter criminal behaviour.
What this country needs is a stronger justice system, not a softer one. You do the crime, now you do the time. The justice system in the United States seems to coddle criminals, politically influenced judges are forgetting their purpose and the reason they are on the bench.
How hard is it to get a free public defender in the criminal justice system? Not hard at all. The formula is simple. If you are incarcerated, and cannot make bail, you also cannot go to work. Bingo, your income is reduced and you qualify for a public defender.
Now let’s examine what a public defender is paid and more importantly, who is paying his fees. The U.S. justice system does not pay the same hourly rate that any law-abiding citizen pays. Lawyers who agree to work as public defenders know that the government sets the fee. Bulk discount perhaps?
Now consider this: A lawyer who is going to be paid less than his normal fee is probably not going to work as diligently on the case as he/she would if he was billing by the hour. Would you? Oh, maybe there are a handful of lawyers, fresh out of law school, who are true crusaders for justice and would work as diligently as an hourly lawyer but seriously, do you think anyone in their right mind would continue that practice? Knowing they could be making the big bucks and driving a fancy car and living high like their colleagues do?
Now think about this: Although the taxpayers are the real providers of payment for public defenders, aren’t those who work as public defenders really on the same payroll as the judge and prosecutor? After all, their salaries are also paid by the taxpayers. What kind of picture does this paint in your mind when you envision a courtroom trial? Doesn’t it seem that all the players are working for the same team with you as the only opponent?