The crumbling US criminal defense system – clients are 80% indigent – DAs get 4x more funding –

This data leads one to answer the question: “Why does the US leads in numbers and percentages of incarcerated populations?” Here’s another one: “Why are the numbers of exonerations increasing every year?” and so forth.

By Tina Peng

The Orleans Public Defenders are facing a million-dollar deficit as a result of statewide budget cuts. For a small office like ours, that’s devastating. To avoid layoffs, the entire staff will see the equivalent of four unpaid weeks per year in furloughs, increased caseloads and a hiring freeze — and the submission to the Louisiana Public Defender Board of a plan to cut services to the people of New Orleans. We are already stretched thin: Our office represents 85 percent of the people charged with crimes in Orleans Parish but has an annual budget about a third the size of the district attorney’s. The American Bar Association recommends that public defenders not work on more than 150 felony cases a year. In 2014, I handled double that.

Full article from the Washington Post

Thanks to the WrongfulConvictionsBlog

 

 

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in criminal justice, criminal justice reform, wrongful convictions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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