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State Supreme Court Expands Defendants’ Rights To Representation

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File photo of a gavel (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a gavel (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The state Supreme Court has expanded the Sixth Amendment rights of criminal defendants to have a lawyer and effective legal representation.

The high court released two 5-1 decisions Tuesday saying those rights apply to initial court appearances called arraignments. The majority also said those rights apply to proceedings involving bail and requests by defendants to be credited for prison time served before their sentencings.

Justice Peter Zarella dissented. He said the majority’s ruling broadens the scope of Sixth Amendment rights to beyond what was intended by both the amendment’s language and the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling came in the cases of Odilio Gonzalez and Jourdan Huertas, who say their lawyers failed to get them credit for jail time they served before they were sentenced.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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