Mirviss explained that before the decision, “thousands of individuals [did] not [have] constitutionally required representation.” He said he was “elated” by the ruling but disappointed it took so long to reach.
In the case, state officials argued that poor suspects get plenty of representation throughout the judicial process and that it’s too costly to staff public defenders at every bail hearing. Mirviss countered that the cost estimates are inflated, saying that “every study that has looked at the effect of providing counsel to criminal defendants has found that it saves the state money by eliminating the costs of unnecessary incarceration.”
Venable attorneys began litigating the case pro bono in 2006 at the request of law students from the Access to Justice Clinic at the Francis M. Carey Maryland School of Law who, in their clinical work, saw the problems with Maryland bail hearings.
The Baltimore Sun featured this victory in an article on September 25, 2013.