The Right to Appointed Counsel on Prosecution Appeals: Hard Realities and Theoretical Perspectives


The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides a right to legal counsel to individuals facing criminal prosecution.’ The United States Supreme Court has given a generous interpretation to the Amendment by extending the right to counsel to criminal defendants at trial, as well as in certain pretrial and post-trial proceedings. Thus, regardless of their financial status, defendants are entitled to representation at trial for felonies or misdemeanors resulting in actual imprisonment, at adversarial pretrial proceedings, and at their first appeals as of right. The Supreme Court, however, has never recognized that indigent defendants have a right to appointed counsel on prosecution appeals.

Suggested Reading