Did you Know? The Not So Equal Protection Under Pennsylvania Law

Contributed by Lisa Bergson.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation that fails to provide funding for the defense of poor defendants, who comprise over 80% of those accused. Pennsylvania cedes this obligation to the counties, leading to a big disparity – in fact, the largest in the U.S. – of capital sentences from county-to-county. The result is a haphazard and inconsistent patchwork of attorney appointment protocols, literally playing Russian Roulette with defendants’ lives.

Executing those denied fair and proper representation is tantamount to state-sponsored murder.  In February, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a friend-of-the court brief, asking the state Supreme Court to hold the state’s capital punishment system in violation of the Pennsylvania constitution.

Support the PA ACLU: “Defending Liberty Where It Began!” https://www.aclupa.org/takeaction/join-or-donate


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