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Task Force on Public Defense Independence

Goal

The goal of the Task Force on Public Defense Independence is to protect and strengthen independence and enhance the public’s understanding of the critical role public defense independence plays in ensuring a fair and just criminal legal system.

The Task Force is a project of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section and Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense (ABA SCLAID), in partnership with the National Association for Public Defense

Members

Co-Chairs:

Keisha Hudson, Chief Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia

Malia Brink, Senior Policy Attorney, Deason Criminal Justice Center, SMU Dedman School of Law

Task Force Members:

Lori James Townes, Executive Director, National Association for Public Defense

Scott Hechinger, Executive Director & Founder, Zealous

Alex Bunin, Chief Public Defender, Harris County, Texas

Charles Gerstein, Partner, Gerstein Harrow LLP

Corey Stoughton, Special Counsel, Selendy Gay

Melody Brannon, Federal Public Defender, District of Kansas

Sara Jacobson, Executive Director, Public Defender Association of Pennsylvania

Jonathan Rapping, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Gideon’s Promise

Bonnie Hoffman, Director of Public Defense Reform and Training, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

David Patton, Partner, Kaplan Hecker & Fink

Geoff Burkhart, Executive Director, Texas Fair Defense Project

Stan Germán, Executive Director, New York County Defender Services

Advisory Board Members:

Chesa Boudin, Executive Director, Criminal Law & Justice Center

Rene Valladeres, Federal Public Defender, District of Nevada

Martin Sabelli, Past-President, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Galit Lipa, State Public Defender, California

Pamela Metzger, Executive Director, Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center, SMU Dedman School of Law

Danny Engleberg, Chief Defender, Orleans Public Defenders

Ricardo Garcia, Chief Public Defender, Los Angeles, CA

Elizabeth Cadiz, Chief Public Defender, Aurora, CO