Public Defense News

Public Defense News Archive

Here you will find current public defense news, as well as past news archived reverse chronologically. The ABA does not maintain external links.

Report a Broken Link    |     Official Quiz Rules    |      2020 Archives

April

4/21/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due April 30th!

Report:

DCJ: Criminal Conviction Records in New York City (1980-2019)

National:

A state-by-state look at coronavirus in prisons

Ohio:

Bill would ease public defender costs

Proposed bill would help ease PD costs

Virginia:

Virginia public defenders face resistance in push for pay parity with prosecutors

Public defender pay still an issue, though local governments lead way on supplements

Pennsylvania:

Advocates want juvenile center closed permanently and funds diverted (Delaware County)

Group arrested after using grandparent phone scam to steal thousands, authorities say

Montgomery County public defender announces community resource fairs in Norristown and Pottstown

Louisiana:

Group has filed more than 1,000 post-conviction relief applications challenging non-unanimous jury verdicts since Supreme Court ruling

Utah:

Social workers having ‘significant impact’ on public defense in Utah County

Oregon:

Opinion: Ease expungements of past crimes and help people gain second chances

Washington:

One crime, two very different punishments for Everett teens

West Virginia:

Mineral County attorney admits to submitted fraudulent pay vouchers

Missouri:

Commissioners approve COVID-19 court expenses

Michigan:

Genessee County changes legal public defender program with new office

Wexford commissioners looking MIDC funding, 4-year terms

New York:

Editorial: People deserve clean slate: Criminal records impeded post-COVID economic recovery in Black and Brown communities

This public defender has fought the Manhattan DA’s office. Now she wants to lead it.

Tennessee:

Fed public defender tells OR audience prisons are repository for mentally ill, intellectually disabled

Wisconsin:

Court backlog caused by pandemic affects public defenders

Florida:

Florida still executes the mentally ill. This bill would stop that.

Florida judge under investigation in election law case (PD election). But why?

Letter: Policing needs an upgrade

Hawaii:

Hawaii Supreme Court ends early release of inmates

State Supreme Court concludes COVID-19 inmate release case

District of Columbia:

An ‘insane’ covid lockdown two miles from the Capitol, with no end in sight

New Jersey:

NJ’s police use-of-force database falls short, experts say

Illinois:

Column: Cook County touts safety measures as courthouses prepare to resume jury trials

Vermont:

Weekend and night court proposal floated in $13.5M plan to address case backlog

Take two: State hoping to finally restart jury trials in May

North Carolina:

What would happen if cops didn’t make certain traffic stops? This North Carolina city offers a case study

Of Interest:

Sonia Sotomayor’s lonely battle to give the voiceless a voice at the Supreme Court

U.S. AG Merrick Garland files memorandum regarding civil settlement agreement and consent decrees

‘It tears families apart’: Lawmakers nationwide are moving to end mandatory sentencing

Opinion: Can the ‘wisdom of a second look’ curb America’s appetite for harsh sentences?

Opinion: Get police out of the business of traffic stops

4/14/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due April 30th!

Report:

VERA: Advancing Universal Representation [Immigration]: A Toolkit for Advocates, Organizers, Legal Service Providers, and Policymakers

Wyoming:

$3 million in cuts to state public defender’s office puts agency back on edge of crisis

Missouri:

Editorial: Missouri lawmakers peddling false choice between public defenders, Medicaid expansion

Column: Jail superintendent’s email offers insight into root causes of St. Louis uprisings

Louisiana:

Advocates to push for funding for public defenders

Lawsuit claims chief public defender discriminated against, harassed female employee

Minnesota:

State’s public defender: justice reforms still needed; prosecutors point to progress

Colorado:

DU Study: White people and people of color are sometimes prosecuted differently by city attorneys

New Jersey:

Public defender, NJ county sparring over ability to hold on to 911 call evidence

Florida:

Public defender’s office back online after malware attack

Some worried client info compromised after ‘malware intrusion’ at public defender’s office

SWFL public defender says ‘no evidence’ info was compromised in malware attack

Retired public defender Nancy Daniels given FSU Law’s exemplary public service career award

Virginia:

AG Mark Herring hires conviction integrity unit team – “Three former capital/public defenders (two attorneys and one investigator)”

Nevada:

55 prisoners who contracted COVID died. Activists say it was preventable.

California:

Santa Barbara County begins budget workshops with public safety departments

Michigan:

Editorial: Public defender office the right move (Alpena)

Texas:

Public defender’s office coming to Tarrant County?

Potter County continues discussion surrounding potential public defender office with NDS

She’s got a small caseload, but this Travis County public defender hopes to make a big impact

New Mexico:

Baur appointed to second term as chief public defender

Washington:

Thurston County attorney to lead state office of public defense

Indiana:

County approves pay raise for chief public defender (Elkhart)

Of Interest:

Brennan Center: Essay Series on Punitive Excess

(Irish) Minister to consider public defender system to replace legal aid scheme

Editorial: You’ve heard about gerrymandering. What happens when it involves prisons?

4/7/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due April 30th!

Do you know an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer whose work deserves recognition? Nominate them for the Dorsey Award! Nominations due by April 9th!

Report:

NJDC: Due Process in the Time of COVID: Defenders as First Responders in a Juvenile Court System Struggling with the COVID-19 Pandemic

MIDC/Urban Institute: Assessing a Social Worker Model of Public Defense

MIDC/Urban Institute: The Social Worker Defender Project Program Manual

National:

Youth justice system worsened during pandemic

A state-by-state look at coronavirus in prisons

Wyoming:

Wyoming public defenders budget slashed $8.4M; may cause return of ‘crisis’

Maine:

Maine legislature weighs changes to criminal defense system for the poor

Opinion: Justice for all means having access to a lawyer

Louisiana:

Criminal justice advocates to push for increased funding for public defenders in upcoming legislative session

Exonerated inmate pushes for defender funding

Lawsuit alleges public defender chief G. Paul Marx told female attorney to ‘dress like a nun’

Lawsuit claims chief public defender discriminated against, harassed female employee

Missouri:

State public defender says proposed budget increase not enough to address waitlist

St. Louis police investigate officers’ shootings – and never reveal result to oversight board

Massachusetts:

ACLU, public defenders and defense lawyers call for investigation into police misconduct, prosecutorial complicity, in Springfield Massachusetts

California:

Alameda County’s first Black chief public defender is trying to fix jury problem

Santa Clara County DA Jeff Rosen could face first challenger

Commentary: Reduced jail population exemplifies commitment by county justice partners

Gov. Newsom names deputy public defender Patrick J. Smalling to SJ Superior Court bench

Texas:

Commissioners vote unanimously to pursue public defender office (Hays County)

County accepts indigent defense grant (Henderson County)

Illinois:

Cook Co. aims to disrupt conviction-to-deportation pipeline

Cook County replaced its public defender. But she’s not done fighting yet.

Winnebago County defense attorney Nick Zimmerman to lead public defender’s office

Lewis named McLean County public defender

Wisconsin:

Cash bail: 3 teenagers. 3 sets of alleged crimes. All treated differently. All in the same system.

Washington:

Proposal to dissolve Spokane regional law and justice council would silence voices for reform, multiple members say

Michigan:

Alpena County to establish public defender

Holding court hearings over Zoom increases access, affordability defense attorneys say

Ohio:

Budish administration accused of failing to seek state reimbursements for public defender, possibly costing taxpayers $1.2 million

Commissioners approve contract with public defender

Virginia:

Prosecutors and public defenders in greater Charlottesville area push for equal pay on both sides of courtroom

After nearly three decades of service to county, public defender steps down (Halifax County)

New York:

The veneer of police accountability: The CCRB is part of the problem, not the solution

A detective was accused of lying. Now 90 convictions may be erased

Hawaii:

Hawaii lawmakers poised to reform program that allows police to seize cash and cars

Idaho:

Local judge allows public defenders to continue representing man accused of killing Pocatello bar bounce in 2009

Indiana:

More St. Joseph County defendants have their day in court . . . online

District of Columbia:

National forensics board suspends D.C. crime lab’s accreditation, halting analysis of evidence, city says

Of Interest:

Our ‘normal’ responses to mental health crises are not working

The pandemic surge is a policing problem

Can new prison design help America’s mass incarceration problem?

This public defender just got $275,000 in law school loans forgiven. Here’s how.

Public defender gets six figures of law school loans forgiven

March

3/31/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due April 30th!

Do you know an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer whose work deserves recognition? Nominate them for the Dorsey Award! Nominations due by April 9th!

Report:

Brookings: The Economic Costs of Pretrial Detention

NYSDA and NACDL: The New York State Trail Penalty: The Constitutional Right to Trial Under Attack

National Bureau of Economic Research: Misdemeanor Prosecution

National:

A state-by-state look at coronavirus in prisons

Virginia:

Before lawmakers abolished the death penalty, expert public defenders had quietly defeated it themselves

Virginia is about to abolish the death penalty. It was a long, surprising road to get there.

‘It is the moral thing to do’: Virginia’s death penalty abolished in historic signing

Capital defender offices to close after Virginia abolishes the death penalty

Louisiana:

Louisiana public defenders say they need millions more in funding

Official: Public defenders facing $5M shortfall

Court hearings suspended this week as DA’s office and public defenders attempt to address backlog

Maine:

Lawmakers push public defense reform in rebuke of governor’s budget

Connecticut:

A new public defender program has ‘professionalized’ Connecticut’s parole process, exciting both advocates and prison officials

New Jersey:

Verrelli, Holley & Mukherji bill to require transparency of fees associated with retaining a public defender passes Assembly

Massachusetts:

Study finds not prosecuting misdemeanors reduces defendants’ subsequent arrests

California:

California Supreme Court in a 7-0 decision requires court to consider ability to pay in setting bail

Calling it a first step, supporters of bail reform respond to Humphrey ruling

A deeper look at the landmark ruling on cash bail by the Cal Supremes

Santa Cruz County supervisors approve public defender transition plan

Santa Cruz County public defense launch plan laid out

A report finds that Alameda County DA practices lead to overcriminalization

Judge rejects public defender motion to recuse DA’s office

Judge finds Alameda County public defender’s motion to recuse entire DA’s office fails to even ‘approach’ legal standard

Alameda DA reportedly backs away from policy to halt informal talks with public defenders

How remote court has led to a rise in population at one county jail (Alameda)

Governor names Salinas public defender to Superior Court bench

Editorial:  Retiring public defender leaves positive mark (Marin)

Pennsylvania:

Public defenders, whistleblowers break silence on abuse allegations at Delco juvenile detention center

Montgomery County reaches $310K settlement in suit brought by former public defenders

New York:

New York must offer vaccine to all prisoners immediately, judge rules

NYC public defenders urge end to jail phone recording after 1500+ calls wrongly bugged

Labor dispute escalates after Queens public defender group unionizes

Colorado:

‘How do you sleep at night?’; Public defenders defend their role in criminal justice

Missouri:

Missouri Dems slam ‘false choice’ as Republicans put Medicaid expansion money elsewhere

Kansas:

Racial justice to be key consideration for county leaders in potential changes to public defense system (Douglas County)

Wisconsin:

Murder-for-hire case latest to be affected by public defender shortage in Brown County

Winnebago County defense attorney Nick Zimmerman to lead public defender’s office

Washington:

Seattle’s City Council gives poor residents right to eviction attorneys

Vermont:

Lawsuit alleges public defenders did an incompetent job in drug case

Northern Mariana Islands:

Chief public defender proposes changes to NMI criminal proceedings

Maryland:

After crime plummeted in 2020, Baltimore will stop drug, sex prosecutions

Georgia:

State officials remove head public defender in Clayton County

Idaho:

Prosecutor: Deputy prosecutor’s new job with public defender’s office creating conflict of interest

Ohio:

New county office will serve those most vulnerable (Lima)

Ohio public defenders make bid for contract (Warren)

Texas:

Tom Green County commissioners mull public defender program

Hays County advances plan for a pre-trial services department, public defenders office

Hays County edges closer to establishing public defender’s office

Of Interest:

The DC reentry navigator: Empowering you to succeed with a DC criminal record

For inmates released during COVID, online-everything makes coming home a digital headache

Editorial: Too many people are locked up for small thefts

Convictions by non-unanimous juries were banned in 2020. What happens to those imprisoned by them?

Book Review: A descending spiral: Exposing the death penalty in 12 essays

3/24/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due April 30th!

Do you know an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer whose work deserves recognition? Nominate them for the Dorsey Award! Nominations due by April 9th!

In Memoriam:

Pat McGuinness – Attorney subject of Oscar-winning documentary, dies at 70

National:

The Marsh tracks public defender’s rise from juvenile delinquent to advocate in four-part monthly series

JusticeText co-founder on building tech for public defense

A state-by-state look at coronavirus in prisons

Pennsylvania:

Montgomery County to pay $310K to settle claims from former public defenders in row over bail policies

Philly’s chief public defender Keir Bradford-Grey stepping down

Philly public defender office appoints interim leader

Keir Bradford-Grey to resign as Philly’s chief public defender

Wisconsin:

Brown County asks state for help in ‘public defender crisis’

Some defendants have waited more than 100 days

Brown County moves to address public defender shortage

Missouri:

Long waits for preliminary hearings in St. Louis draw public defender’s ire

California:

Public defender tries to get Alameda DA’s office off murder case, alleging ‘troubling and extensive pattern of misconduct’

Accused of misconduct, Alameda DA stops all ‘informal discussions’ with public defenders, calls out ‘false and misleading accusations’

Supervisors approve public defender transition plan (Santa Cruz County)

Santa Cruz County public defense launch plan laid out

Marin County public defender exiting after 11-year run

Maryland:

Opinion: Public defenders deserve basic job protections

Montana:

Column: There’s no justice without public defenders

Texas:

Potter County commissioners’ court discusses potential of new indigent defense system

Massachusetts:

Pandemic has laid bare inequities in legal system

DA vows to erase drug convictions linked to lab scandal

Florida:

Opinion: Public defenders were born in a Panama City case – and we still protect those who need help

Justices reject deal for former Jacksonville public defender

Prosecution as possibility as Supreme Court rejects ex-Jacksonville public defender’s conditional guilty plea

Utah:

Gov. Cox declares March 18 Utah public defense day

Connecticut:

Tenant “right to counsel” advances

Indiana:

Indiana senate to debate bill to send more juveniles to adult court

Illinois:

Cook County’s new public defender talks goals, challenges

Meet Cook County’s new public defender Sharone Mitchell Jr.

Idaho:

Charles Peterson hired by federal defender services

Nevada:

Twenty under 40 Q-and-A: deputy public defender Kendra Bertschy

Of Interest:

UCLA Law: Missing the Mark: Data Reporting & Quality Scorecard

3/17/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due April 30th!

Do you know an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer whose work deserves recognition? Nominate them for the Dorsey Award! Nominations due by April 9th!

Report:

NAPD: 10 Principles for Creating Sustainability in Public Defense

National:

Defender the public defenders

1A Podcast: As a public defender

The pandemic slowed courts, leaving behind case backlogs. Now public defenders are ‘emptying the ocean with a teaspoon’

Louisiana:

Lawsuit challenging Louisiana public defense system not a class action, appeals court says

EBR public defender’s office ‘profoundly alarmed’ by allegations against BRPD narcotics division

Murder trial continued to October after Rapides public defender quits

If Cardell Hayes makes bail, he won’t be the first helped by split-verdicts ruling

New York:

Queens public defender group vote to unionize

Virginia:

Opinion: Support our equal pay

Public defender’s office to open in Chesterfield

Wisconsin:

Editorial: Pay raises for public defenders a good move

New form reduces burdens on indigent persons to obtain fee waivers

Former state public defender appointed to fill vacant Fond du Lac Co. judge position

Missouri:

Missouri public defender system handles about 6,000 child support criminal cases annually

Georgia:

High court rules can pay expert witness costs for pro bono defense lawyers

Court: Defendant entitled to state funds in Tara Grinstead murder case

California:

Eyes on public defender office (San Mateo)

Public defenders group praises new immigration legislation, but criticizes police ‘contact’ details – urges ‘defang’ amendments

Defense attorney accuses OC District Attorney Todd Spitzer of protecting lying cops

Florida:

Fla. speedy trial changes unjust public defenders say

Pennsylvania:

Judge empties Delaware County juvenile justice scenter after allegations of rampant abuse

No jury trials for Philly public defenders until key employees are vaccinated for COVID-19

Oklahoma:

Tribal jurisdiction topic of Comanche County court hearing

Rhode Island:

Public defender – MD partnership seeks improved health outcomes

Washington:

Civil right to counsel bill passes senate in preparation for end of eviction moratorium

SW Washington attorneys call for consequences after judge caught making derogatory remarks

Connecticut:

Few tenants facing eviction have an attorney. Top lawmakers are poised to change that.

Illinois:

New Cook County public defender is chosen

Cook County’s first jury trial after COVID-19 closures set for Monday, as defendant’s lawyer calls it ‘publicity stunt

DuPage County predicts spending $63 million on police reform mandates

Ohio:

Public defender’s office in danger of termination (Ashtabula County)

New Mexico:

Otero County detainee says frustration over COVID-19 practices prompts hunger strike

Michigan:

Genesee Co. appoints new chief public defender, approved emergency rental assistance funds

Former Flint judge named first chief public defender for Genesee County

Texas:

New public defender office open for business (Kerr County)

San Angelo attorney reappointed to governing board of the Texas Indigent Defense Commission by Governor Abbott

Virginia:

Public defender’s office to open in Chesterfield

Of Interest:

Reimagine safety

743 years and 3 months. 117 years. 51 years. Why are these men’s sentences so long?

Post-prison, people just want normal things. Americans say that’s too much to expect.

How tenants’ right to counsel can end inequality in the eviction system – and save lives


3/10/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due April 30th!

Do you know an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer whose work deserves recognition? Nominate them for the Dorsey Award! Nominations due by April 9th!

Report:

Sentencing Project: Expanding Voting Rights to All Citizens in the Era of Mass Incarceration

National:

Garland alone cannot transform our criminal legal system

Commentary: Why it’s time to abandon drug court

State-by-state look at coronavirus in prisons

Maine:

With 120 days to make a difference, temporary director proposes changes to reform Maine’s public defense agency

Column: Get politics out of Maine’s indigent defense system

Defense lawyer alleges ‘systemic failures’ at Maine State Policy forensic lab

Missouri:

Missouri’s public defender funding is at the fore after big court win

Miller murder straining state’s death penalty defense teams

Conditions at St. Louis jail: Who are you going to believe?

New Mexico:

Suspect not provided with an attorney gets reversal

Wisconsin:

Public defender shortage causing delays, driving up local costs

Opinion: Public defenders deserve equal pay, too

Dunkin reappointed to Wisconsin state public defender board

Ohio:

Bill aims to increase number of public defenders in Ohio

How Hamilton Co. could save $3.8M if DeWine’s budge makes this one change

More state funding for public defenders proposed: What that means for Butler County

Delaware County hires new public defender

Louisiana:

During chaos of pandemic year, EBR public defenders face client restrictions, financial woes

New York:

Public defender issues report on area police (Rochester)

Minnesota:

In new article, public defender details racial inequities in Minnesota’s felony murder doctrine

Retired chief public defender gives insight into Chauvin trial jury selection process

Illinois:

Illinois Justice Project director chosen as next Cook County public defender

Jury is in? Cook County public defender not in line for second term

Commentary: In choosing public defender, use a restorative justice lens

Revolving door for Cook County officials? Or just ‘transparent, good government’ in action?

‘Where do we go from here’: Illinois counties prep for massive changes to courts and jails

Bill explores creation of legal services for immigrants facing deportation in Illinois

Cook County public defender’s office warns of scam after someone listens in on Zoom court proceedings

Texas:

Harris County got rid of cash bail for many people accused of minor crimes. GOP lawmakers want to walk that back.

California:

Public defender says fentanyl overdose task force would lead to over policing (San Francisco)

Change or cronyism? D.A. George Gascón’s executive team met with mix of praise and suspicion

Attempted murder case dismissed against Fairfield man, 56, after 10 years in custody

Thousands of California marijuana convictions officially reduced, others dismissed

Supervisors vote down open hearings proposal for sexually violent predators

Marin postpones plans to resume jury trials

San Francisco defender Steven Kalar headed to private practice

Pennsylvania:

Philly’s public defenders say they will not work on jury trials until lawyers are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines

Utah:

Commissioners OK $190K for inmate defense ‘under duress’

Indiana:

Lawmakers’ next step in reducing jail overcrowding is local justice councils

Florida:

Defense wants 13-year-old facing murder charge out of Pinellas’ adult court system

Colorado:

Judge drops contempt case against Colorado Springs public defender after COVID-19 protest

Eviction legal defense fund could land on Denver ballot in November

Boulder judge swap highlights concerns over failure to appear warrants in virtual hearings

District of Columbia:

Opinion: Misdemeanor court has been closed for a year. Keep it that way.

Kansas:

Registry shows if your neighbors were convicted of crimes involving sex, drugs or violence

Of Interest:

Expert calls to reform the attorney-client relationship

Many juvenile jails are now almost entirely filled with young people of color

What people in prison need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine

Felony murder, explained

Opinion: Criminal confessions, forensic bias – No one is immune to prejudice

3/3/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due April 30th!

Do you know an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer whose work deserves recognition? Nominate them for the Dorsey Award! Nominations due by April 9th!

National:

A federal defender system for immigrants is long

Oath keepers, proud boys want public defenders. And the Constitution they sought to upend protects that right

A state-by-state look at coronavirus in prisons

Wisconsin:

Gov. Evers signs bill granting larger raises for public defenders

Gov. Evers signs bipartisan bill to fund pay progression for public defenders

Maine:

Impasse on funding leaves legal services for Maine’s poor in limbo

Lawmakers consider bill to prohibit prosecuting anyone younger than 12

Missouri:

Parson’s budget proposal aims to reduce public defender system waiting list

Lawmakers may increase public defender funding after judge rules against state’s wait list

Letters: Missouri should emulate St. Louis on public defenders

Parson’s budget proposal aims to reduce Missouri public defender system wait list

Missouri Supreme Court: No new trial for Lamar Johnson

Ohio:

Bill would increase number of public defenders in Ohio

Commissioners won’t budge on decision to close public defender’s office

Pennsylvania:

Question raised about fact-finding process in report on Montgomery County public defender’s office

Snyder County hires assistant public defender

Former Dauphin Co. chief public defender suspended until May 2021

Ex-public defender suspended after felony plea in campaign case

Illinois:

Cook County public defender Amy Campanelli discusses criminal justice reform bill

Florida:

State attorneys, public defenders concerned about further budget cuts as legislative session begins

North Florida ex-state attorney Siegmeister indicted in federal extortion, bribery case

Utah:

Prosecutors, defense attorneys condemn ‘bad faith’ bill to repeal bail reform

Utah attorneys slam bill to repeal bail reform as ‘bad faith’ effort

Kentucky:

Column: Farmer investigation leaves more questions than answers

California:

California Supreme Court rules SB 1391 constitutional, prohibiting transfer of young teens to adult criminal court

SF public defender urges more trials despite pandemic, cites client deemed not guilty on 10-2 hung jury

Gascón under scrutiny after hiring public defender to high-ranking prosecutor position

Unions blast District Attorney George Gascón’s hiring of controversial prosecutor

Despite Enterprise editorial, reformers oppose AB 1542 and involuntary drug treatment

San Diego County Supervisors vote to keep protecting sexual predators in court

Alameda DA unveils groundbreaking mental heal diversion program

Public defender, probation celebrate 10 years of veterans treatment court

Oklahoma:

10 death row inmates in Oklahoma could get new trials

New York:

Early intervention program to stem domestic violence in Poughkeepsie faces resistance

Maryland:

Opinion: I made a serious mistake as Maryland governor.  We need parole reform.

Virginia:

General Assembly approves funding for new public defender office in Chesterfield

Texas:

Anthony Graves is fighting for justice for all

Louisiana:

Jason Williams picks former public defender Teneé Felix as top juvenile prosecutor

Colorado:

Attorneys, court workers struggle to find vaccines as trials resume in El Paso County

Arkansas:

Defendants, victims in Arkansas left waiting for justice in pandemic

Washington:

Excoriated by judge, prosecutor not punished by boss or bar

Of Interest:

Most tenants facing eviction don’t have a right to an attorney. Lawmakers want to change that.

Prosecutors must add sentencing review units to their office

Did James Plymell need to die?

The Dissenter

February

2/24/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due April 30th!

Do you know an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer whose work deserves recognition? Nominate them for the Dorsey AwardNominations due by April 9th!

Report:

Prison Policy Initiative: State of Phone Justice: Local jails, state prisons and private phone providers

Prison Policy Initiative: Rigging the jury: How each state reduces jury diversity by excluding people with criminal records

Sentencing Project: No end in sight: America’s enduring reliance on life sentences

National:

Public defenders speak out about the tolls of COVID-19

Should public defenders be tweeting?

Cicilline: From public defender to prosecuting a president

Missouri:

Armed with a fresh legal decision, Missouri public defender calls on lawmakers to fund office

Column: Judge puts Missouri legislature on alert: Fund the public defender’s office, or else

Editorial: Wait lists for justice? Missouri’s broken public defender system must be fixed

Court rules Missouri’s waiting list for public defender violate Constitutional right to counsel, judge gives legislature four months to fix the problem

Missouri judge says public defender waitlist unfair

Judge rules in public defender case

Pennsylvania:

Report evaluating Montgomery County’s public defender office released

Preliminary Report: Strengthening the Office of the Public Defender (Montgomery County)

Maine:

Lawyers who were ineligible to handle serious criminal charges were given thousands of these cases anyway

California:

Former public defender prevails in early hearing (wrongful termination) (Humboldt County)

Former public defender files wrongful termination lawsuit (Humboldt County)

Book Release: Jeff Adachi’s The case of San Francisco public defender Frank Egan: Murder and Scandal in the 1930s

Filmmakers team up with SF public defenders to broadcast stories of injustice

Operators of Tenderloin halfway house featured in public defender documentary call firm ‘misleading’

Editorial: No, crime survivors don’t need prosecutors at parole hearings. But they do need more help

Public defenders plead for COVID-19 vaccination priority as criminal trials resume

Illinois:

Editorial: Reappoint Cook County public defender – or find somebody who’s just as good

Contenders for Cook County public defender appointment include some high-profile names

Despite federal and state guidance to reduce jail populations, few inmates convicted of nonviolent crimes have been released early

11 candidates file for McLean County public defender job

New York:

New Westchester DA revamps conviction review unit, puts a public defender in charge

NY public defenders ask leaders to protect parental rights

Queen leaders call on public defender group to rehire pro-union staffers

Anti-union stance has deep roots for head of Queens public defender group

Colonie justices flouting new law requiring reason for recusal

NY court set to return to in-person in March, prosecutors, defenders still ineligible for vaccine: sources

Wisconsin:

Loudenbeck authors bill to give public defenders raises

Brennan elected as chair of Wisconsin public defender board

Louisiana:

Louisiana offers student loan forgiveness to public defenders and prosecutors

Virginia:

Editorial: More resources for public defenders?

Verdict still out on impact of jury sentencing change, but Southside prosecutors worried it’ll tax judicial system

Minnesota:

The lost souls: More Minnesotans are falling into criminal justice system ‘gap’ than ever before

West Virginia:

West Virginia public defender corporation lowest paid attorneys deserve a pay bump

Lawyer who fled US pleads guilty after he’s accused of repeatedly billing state for over 24 hours per day

Indiana:

Lawrence County council will decide how to proceed with public defender agency

Alabama:

Letter to lawmakers: Repeal Alabama’s habitual felony offender act

New Jersey:

Cumberland County commissioner director calls state’s jail lawsuit ‘particularly offensive’

Florida:

Public defender with Patreon for FOIA lawsuits shares her thoughts on lawyers and social media

Jason Pizzo proposes student loan repayment for assistant state attorneys, public defenders

Washington:

Seattle’s controversial ‘poverty defense’ proposal stalls out

Kentucky:

Public defenders cast doubt on report that ‘cleared’ Farmer

Michigan:

Prosecutor notes backlog of cases, talks priorities

North Carolina:

Two candidates seek chief public defender position for Orange and Chatham counties

Ohio:

Allen County commissioners OK lease for new public defenders office

Commissioners to purchase property for public defender’s office

Hawaii:

Salina Kanai to serve as federal public defender in Hawaii

Of Interest:

Supreme Court to debate whether misdemeanors can be a foot in the door for warrantless home search

2/17/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due on April 30th!

Do you know an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer whose work deserves recognition? Nominate them for the Dorsey Award! Nominations due by April 9th!

Report:

Juvenile Law Center and Columbia Law School: Injustice in the lowest courts: How municipal courts rob America’s youth

National:

Premal Dharia joins Harvard Law School as inaugural executive director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration

ABA attorney panel discusses good and bad of COVID-19 on future of court proceedings

You think things have been rough in civil cases? Have a look at the criminal side of the docket

A state-by-state look at coronavirus in prisons

New Jersey:

NJ top court orders new detention hearings for defendants with jury trials postponed by COVID-19

NJ Supreme Court denies wide-ranging release of county inmates with COVID-stalled trials

Pennsylvania:

Despite outlier status, Pa. lawmakers don’t make public defense a priority

Book examines the history and contemporary role of Philadelphia’s public defenders

Former part-time assistant defender headed to prison

Maine:

Maine legislators urged to add staff to oversee legal defense for the poor

Michigan:

Whitmer’s budget proposal includes $92.3M towards criminal justice reforms

‘The cases keep coming’: Lansing area courts struggle with overload of pending jury trials

Kansas:

Opinion; Kansas must fix its broken public defender system. The Constitution demands justice

New York:

Queens defenders fires two employees active in unionization effort

Otsego inches ahead on plan to move defender’s office

Andrew Cuomo’s refusal to vaccinate inmates is indefensible

Prosecutors, public defenders should be vaccine eligible, NYSBA executive committee says

Scores of city court cases dismissed as prosecutors run out of time in Buffalo

Louisiana:

Once charged with murder, New Orleans man who case spotlighted defender funding gets time served

New Orleans DA Jason Williams begins course change from Leon Cannizzaro era on ‘juvenile lifers’

California:

ICE detainee fights to be released to Oakland after nearly 4 years in custody

Yolo County public defender’s office – reshaping the criminal justice system narrative

Santa Clara County gives out leftover vaccines after people no show for appointments

California panel calls for overhaul of sentencing laws

Missouri:

City calls St. Louis jail complaints ‘false,’ won’t let attorneys in to inspect

Role of Crestwood public defender expands

Illinois:

Did Illinois get bail reform right? Criminal justice advocates are optimistic

State senate committee passes bills establishing a police misconduct database, officer use of force and ‘noncompliant’ prosecutors

Vermont:

Public defense in the pandemic

‘Most overwhelmingly difficult period’: A Franklin County public defender hangs on

Virginia:

Prince William County jail COVID-19 outbreak sickens dozens

Arizona:

Arizona’s prison population declines by 11% during pandemic

Ohio:

Report: 93% of evictions in Cleveland were prevented during first six months of right to counsel program

Allen County public defenders office close to opening

Minnesota:

Hennepin County a pioneer in new program for young adults on probation

New Mexico:

DWI arrests down during COVID

Bill would require disclosure of misconduct

Wisconsin:

Wisconsin legislature set to waive businesses’ taxes on coronavirus aid (also PD merit-based raises)

‘He shouldn’t have had to die’: COVID-19 infects half of Wisconsin inmates, five times the overall state rate

Maryland:

Federal judge orders release of expert report detailing officer misconduct

Maryland considers guaranteeing a lawyer to low-income renters facing eviction

Washington:

Editorial: Unpaid traffic tickets shouldn’t bring loss of jobs

Guam:

Public defender: Court orders don’t modify quarantine policy

Wyoming:

COVID-19 has affected Laramie County courts, but work continues

South Carolina:

Columbia SC lawyer disbarred by State Supreme Court for multiple misconduct offenses

Of Interest:

Opinion: The new debt prisons

What 120 executions tell us about justice in America

He’s too mentally ill to execute. Why is he still on death row after 45 years?

COVID-19 brought the criminal justice system ‘to its knees.’ Here’s what we can learn moving forward.

Opinion: Stop using police for traffic stops

2/10/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due on April 30th!

Do you know an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer whose work deserves recognition? Nominate them for the Dorsey Award! Nominations due by April 9th!

In Memoriam:

Paulino Duran – Fierce advocate, gentle leader: Former Sacramento public defender Duran dies at 70

Jill R. Trivas – felony division, Baltimore City public defenders office

National:

It’s time to hit pause on home detention fees

The problems with public defenders are big, but they’re fixable

Kansas:

KS public defender system faces crisis

Mississippi:

Supervisors appeal court order for attorney’s pay

Pennsylvania:

Pa.’s criminal justice system is still rigged against the poor. Wolf’s call for indigent defense funding is start

Missouri:

After St. Louis jail unrest, inmates’ advocates allege desperate conditions while officials defend pandemic response

Activists say uprising at city jail facility was a protest of ‘inhumane’ conditions

Column: Jail eruption tied to delays in justice in St. Louis, say city’s public defenders

California:

Alameda public defender’s investigation sows 2019 killing was self-defense, murder charge dismissed; his client spent nearly 2 years in jail

Community members, advocacy groups thank public defenders, calling for increased funding

Judge blocks LA district attorney’s reforms

Judge rules against Gasgon, grants preliminary injunction to ADDA in ruling that undermines reform efforts

Workers in LA’s courts are dying of COVID-19 as in-person hearings, trials continue

SF public defender launces ‘the Adachi project’

The Adachi project to honor late SF public defender with films about justice

Judge agrees with public defender – courts dealing poorly with speedy trials during pandemic

Maryland:

Opinion: I’m a public defender. My clients keep getting COVID-19 while incarcerated.

Critics: Baltimore County court meetings put people at risk

Outbreak of COVID-19 at Baltimore federal jail prompts lockdown even as feds prepare to resume grand jury proceedings

Indiana:

Public defender compliance issues put county at risk of losing funding (Lawrence County)

Lawrence County council and public defender agency working together to find solutions

Virginia:

Vienna public defender presses supervisors for more funding

Chesterfield public defender office could be operational by year’s end if General Assembly approves funding

State budget lawmakers advance bill that would create $3 million public defender office in Chesterfield

Virginia moves one step closer to abolishing the death penalty

Updated: Jail: Incarcerated people receive 2 showers a week during COVID-19 outbreak – sometime more

New Jersey:

Cumberland, state court fight over jail goes to trial in about 2 weeks

Connecticut:

New COVID-19 options connect public defenders with clients

Texas:

Court OKs $3.3B Harris County budget with boosts for pollution control, indigent defense, health

New York:

Chairman outlines county legislature goals (Chautauqua County)

Florida:

Social justice-based firing suit by public defender goes forward (Broward County)

Matt Shirk, ex-public defender in Jacksonville, faces suspension from law practice for 6 months

Of Interest:

Opinion: What the pandemic revealed about ‘progressive’ prosecutors

Fresh facts on crime: Post-bail-reform New York City by the numbers

Opinion: Did Tennessee execute an innocent man?

How state Attorneys General can lead on reform

2/3/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations due on April 30th!

Do you know an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer whose work deserves recognition? Nominate them for the Dorsey Award! Nominations due by April 9th!

Report:

Sentencing Project: Racial Disparities in Youth Incarceration Persist

National:

State-by-State look at coronavirus in prisons

Missouri:

Public defenders pleased with Parson’s call for more lawyers

‘They have given us a real mess’: Some juvenile courts say they do not have funds to follow new law on making 17-year-olds juveniles

New York:

Public defender groups threaten to sue NY to vaccinate inmates

Why aren’t state prisoners being vaccinated yet?

Vermont:

Franklin-Grand Isle public defender’s office sues over court filing system

Massachusetts:

‘This is how our system works’: Public defender Randy Gioia charges Springfield Mayor Sarno, Police Commissioner Clapprood with stoking fear

Notices going to more than 27,000 convicted with flawed breath test data

Maryland:

Union says Baltimore County courts fail to follow state safety guidance, seek more remote hearing and amnesty for misdemeanors

Fight over release of details in expert report alleging police misconduct, racism continues in Maryland

Oregon:

Law enforcement, legal experts adapt as drug decriminalization takes effect

Oregon law to decriminalize all drugs goes into effect offering addicts rehab instead of prison

Multonmah County COVID-19 outbreak sickens 81 inmates

Virginia:

Virginia courts could consider a defendant’s autism diagnoses under proposed law

Top public defender elected judge after protest arrest

Senate bill would create public defender’s office in Chesterfield

Portsmouth’s top public defender named a judge, months after police charged her in confederate monument case

Lynchburg-area attorneys anticipate have caseloads, shifts as jury sentencing rule nears end in Virginia

Ohio:

Summit County judge fight about attorney appointments continues

Tennessee:

Metro public defender accused of celebrating violence

Georgia:

Ga. appeals court tosses $1K contempt citation against Fulton public defender

West Virginia:

Attrition in Harrison County public defender’s office hits home in high-profile case

New Mexico:

De-escalating the 40-year-old war on drugs

Florida:

Column: Public defenders suffer from the “stress of injustice”

Defense lawyers want a place in line for COVID-19 shots

New York:

Ulster County recoupled nearly $1.6 million for expenses incurred by public defender’s office

Activists press Manhattan district attorney candidates on how far they’ll go on reform

California:

Santa Clara County public defenders ask to be vaccinated alongside incarcerated clients

Public defender Tracie Olson speaks on overcoming racism in Yolo County

Livestream difficulties again cause major courtroom difficulties – for everyone

Marin court gets pandemic aid to reduce case backlog

COVID-19 shutdowns cut Ventura County court’s workload by half data show

Illinois:

Man arrested for threatening to punch public defender

Winnebago County public defender David Doll to retire after 4 years on the job

Joliet lawyer named new Will County public defender

Delaware:

Robinson confirmed as Superior Court judge; Karsnitz named resident judge

Washington:

Lewis appointed county’s chief public defender

Michigan:

Public defender’s office donates hygiene products for inmates (Allegan-Van Buren County)

Clean slate expungement for Michigan felons

Of Interest:

Rising jail populations require quick response

Watch how quickly a COVID outbreak exploded through a California prison

A tech investor is raising funds to investigate San Francisco prosecutor’s decarceral approach

Why the Biden administration’s choice to lead the Bureau of Prisons matters

January

1/27/21

Is your local or state bar association helping to support, develop or expand access to public defense or civil legal aid? Nominate the association for the Harrison Tweed Award!  Nominations are open now!

Request:

Help the Marshall Project report on COVID-19 vaccinations behind bars

Report:

Valerio Baćak, et. al, The Stress of Injustice, Public Defenders and the Frontline of American Inequality

National:

Public defenders suffer from the ‘stress of injustice’: study

Office for A2J could be revived under Biden

New York and California voters want more public defenders, civil rights lawyers on the federal bench

COVID-19 brought the criminal justice system ‘to its knees.’ Here’s what we can learn moving forward

State-by-State look at coronavirus in prisons

Louisiana:

‘The system is at a breaking point’: New DA, public defender work to reduce backlog of cases at Criminal District Court (New Orleans)

Montana:

Prosecutors oppose elimination of public defender fees; agency makes no case

Ohio:

Medina County public defender’s office will be terminated

Attorneys surprised by county’s decision to close public defenders office (Medina County)

Commissioners talk appropriations, courts (Darke County)

Colorado:

Public defender facing contempt citation awaits sentencing

Maryland:

Letter: Those awaiting postponed trials in jail deserve better

Illinois:

Immigration unit added to Cook County public defender’s office

Foxx stunned as some public defenders arranged for coronavirus vaccine at Cook County Jail ahead of her staff

COVID-19 continues preventing local court appearances (Edgar County)

New York:

Public defenders release evaluation of Manhattan district attorney candidates

Florida:

Assistant public defender wants Florida to ban executions of mentally ill people

Missouri:

Missouri prosecutors, courts not following new law requiring 17-year-olds be treated as juveniles

Virginia:

Bill to eliminate Va. death penalty advances; cost savings debated

Portsmouth public defender Brenda Spry elected to judgeship by General Assembly

California:

Distressing scene as homeless man muted for weeping because he can’t pay bail (Yolo County)

South Carolina:

Horry County courthouse to have drive-thru first appearances during COVID-19 closure

Texas:

‘No beds left’: Houston’s jail is a COVID-19 superspreader

Pennsylvania:

COVID forces judges in Berks County to balance speedy trials with safe courtrooms

Wisconsin:

Judicial leaders say pandemic has slowed, but not stopped, cases from being resolved

Oregon:

Multnomah County expands program to lift legal barriers for people impacted by justice system

Delaware:

Police transparency subcommittee disagrees on recommendations

Minnesota:

Duluth’s Friedman named to conviction-review team

Nebraska:

Box Butte County public defender resigns

Kansas:

GOP senators reject Kansas appeals court nominee 2nd time

Indiana:

The law school’s loan repayment program helps Aaron Stoll ’12 J.D. live a quality professional and personal life

Washington:

Meet San Juan County’s new public defender: Alex Frix

Of Interest:

This scientist helped free the innocent using DNA. Now Biden wants him in the Cabinet.

Fatal police shootings of unarmed Black people reveal troubling patterns

Letter urges Biden to commute everyone on federal death row

1/20/21

Last Chance:
2021 
Virtual Public Defense Summit – Jan 21-22, 2021! 
This year’s ABA Public Defense Summit will focus on misdemeanor courts and the role public defenders should play in effectively representing misdemeanor defendants and ensuring that the procedures in these courts protect those who are not entitled to counsel. Registration is now open.  Group discounts available.

In Memoriam:

Pete Clary – Forsyth’s first public defender dies (NC)

National:

Opinion:  If Biden wants to reform criminal justice, he needs public defenders on his team

Trump’s final wave of pardons includes names pushed by criminal justice reform advocates

Pentagon moves to block exam of tortured Guantánamo Prisoner

Prisons are releasing people without COVID-19 tests or quarantines

Public defenders push Biden administration to reverse Trump era immigration policies

Public defender coalition calls for immigration reform

Illinois:

Cook County public defender calls on Biden to halt deportations for a year

Public defenders push for program to provide immigrants access to attorneys

Illinois state lawmakers vote to eliminate cash bail

The end of cash bail? Backers and opponents ponder the consequences as bill awaits Pritzker’s signature

Search process is open for Cook Co. public defender

Barnes appointed as at-large judge for Eleventh Judicial Circuit

Massachusetts:

Public defenders offer 10-point immigration policy plan

California:

O.C. district attorney drops or reduces charges in 67 cases over mishandled evidence

Attorneys argue over scope of police records law before appellate court panel

LA County prosecutors, public defenders got COVID vaccine ahead of time, sources say

New public defender appointed in Tulare County

Erin Brooks is Tulare County’s new public defender

Minnesota:

Police watchdog group says Minneapolis uses legal loophole to keep police misconduct from the public

Maryland:

Years after Freddie Gray’s death, Baltimore police misconduct persists

Maryland no longer testing every Baltimore inmate before court appearances upsetting attorneys and staff

New Jersey:

Commentary: Hearings for pretrial detainees should be required

Idaho:

Jefferson County public defender receives approval to move forward in seeking death penalty counsel

Taylor receives approval for increased salaries (Jefferson County)

North Carolina:

Column: Gaston County public defender’s office

Florida:

State attorney and public defender at odds over court status during pandemic (Brevard)

Utah:

Felony cases assigned to Utah County public defenders increased in 2020

Montana:

Prosecution and defense have no objections to helping Great Falls food bank

Colorado:

Eagle County courts facing backlog of jury trials

New Mexico:

Albuquerque’s vision for non-police first responders comes down to earth

Indiana:

Lawyers offer free legal advice in honor of MLK day

Tennessee:

Lee named new public defender (4th Judicial District)

Michigan:

New chief public defender ready to serve clients, community (Wexford-Missaukee)

Of Interest:

Living in the age of the white mob

In 2021, don’t sleep on criminal justice elections

Latest federal execution and Trump administration killing spurs legislation to ban federal death penalty

The ABA Criminal Justice Standards on Mental Health: The greatest practice resource you’ve never heard of

1/13/21

REGISTER NOW!
2021 Virtual Public Defense Summit – Jan 21-22, 2021! 
This year’s ABA Public Defense Summit will focus on misdemeanor courts and the role public defenders should play in effectively representing misdemeanor defendants and ensuring that the procedures in these courts protect those who are not entitled to counsel. Registration is now open.  Group discounts available. PLEASE SHARE WIDELY!

National:

There are too many prosecutors on the bench.  Take it from me, a prosecutor.

Biden helped usher in an era of mass incarceration. Can he now end it?

South Carolina:

Magistrate judges took bribes, stole money and mishandled cases. South Carolina officials now want reform.

Georgia:

Murder defendant seeks financial relief from Supreme Court (access to funds for experts and investigators)

GA Supreme Court considers expert funding in Tara Grinstead murder case

Kentucky:

Franklin County public defenders question judgment of deputy who attended Capitol riot

Public defenders call out sheriff’s deputy for attending Trump rally

Illinois:

Advocates, opponents make their case to lawmakers on massive criminal justice proposal

Carla Barnes becomes first Black woman on 11th Circuit bench

Louisiana:

Incoming New Orleans DA vows to upend justice system

For New Orleans new prosecutor, high hopes, a legal cloud

Florida:

Editorial: The promises and pitfalls of equal justice for all in Broward

Virginia:

Virginia crime commission recommends eliminating all mandatory minimum sentences

Was his attorney ineffective? Man on death row for Newport News murder-for-hire gets new hearing

Maryland:

Opinion: In Maryland, some behind bars have little hope of a speedy trial

California:

Massive outbreak at Santa Clara County jails; Over 100 cases reported since New Years Day

Oregon:

DA’s office sets deadline for plea agreements

Utah:

Column: What Spencer Cox’s cabinet picks tell us about how he plans to govern

Michigan:

Macomb County public defender seeking criminal defense attorneys for new office

Arizona:

Defense attorneys needed for juvenile dependency, guardianship (Gila County)

Of Interest:

Federal government executes the first woman in nearly 70 years

What Lisa Montgomery has in common with many on death row: Extensive trauma

ICYMI: ‘No choice but to do it’ (“[A]t least 30 percent of those serving time on murder or manslaughter charges were protecting themselves or a loved one from physical or sexual violence”)

Opinion: When an IQ score is a death sentence

How Joe Biden can fix the broken clemency process

Biden must close the revolving door between biglaw and government

1/8/21

REGISTER NOW!
2021 Virtual Public Defense Summit – Jan 21-22, 2021! 
This year’s ABA Public Defense Summit will focus on misdemeanor courts and the role public defenders should play in effectively representing misdemeanor defendants and ensuring that the procedures in these courts protect those who are not entitled to counsel. Registration is now open.  Group discounts available. PLEASE SHARE WIDELY!

National:

Column: Biden’s judicial picks should include lawyers who battled the government in court

Biden considers Ketanji Brown Jackson to fill Garland judgeship: sources

Alaska:

Audit of public defender says caseloads are in line with national standards

Alaska criminal justice system continues to disproportionately affect marginalized populations

Maine:

Public defense initiatives miss governor’s biennium budget

Maine’s public defense agency acknowledges it didn’t enforce rules on attorney qualifications

New York:

Queens public defenders push to unionize. Management calls them a ‘mob.’

Staff of the appellate public defenders’ group announces union effort, calling for recognition in the ‘ethos of public defense’

Bronx Defenders wonder if there will be real action after report on NYPD violence and misconduct during George Floyd protests

Chemung County public defender Peter Finnerty tapped as acting Elmira City court judge

New Mexico:

New Mexico agrees to $750,000 settlement in sexual harassment case against former public defender

Virginia:

Virginia Beach public defenders earn far less than prosecutors. Both sides want that to change.

Virginia Beach public defender calls for pay parity

Virginia Beach public defender: attorneys need higher pay

Virginia prosecutor announces new criminal justice reforms, asks lawmakers to OK

New Jersey:

NJ prosecutors oppose plan to release hundreds behind bars awaiting trial. Top court will consider it soon.

State judge keeps Cumberland County jail injunction in place after looking at plan

Michigan:

Chippewa County chief public defender sues for wrongful termination

Governor appoints experienced public defender to Ann Arbor’s 15th District Court judge seat

Whitmer signs bills to curb license suspensions, dozens of criminal justice reforms

Tennessee:

Poor Tennesseans are still locked in COVID-ridden jails, and lawyers want them out

Public defender Ed Miller retires

Vermont:

Column: Indigent have right to public defenders for any charge

Trials in limbo amid pandemic

Florida:

Jessica Yeary promises reforms after swearing-in as 2nd Circuit public defender

Get to know Sara Mollo, Pinellas-Pasco’s new public defender

Florida’s Lowell prison is cesspool of sexual abuse by staff, feds say in blistering report

Opinion: Officials knew about sexual abuse at Lowell prison – and did nothing. System must have independent oversight

Maryland:

Baltimore County eliminates fees for people on home detention

Baltimore district judge steps down, citing cancer, amid fallout for contempt charge against public defender

Commentary: Pandemic underscores need to release more elderly prisoners

Missouri:

Prosecutors try to keep people out of pandemic-clogged courts through diversion programs

Texas:

Tarrant County officials say new bail reform won’t be ‘racially-biased’

California:

Former supervisor, ex-public defender to lead SF police commission

After a year delay, California Supreme Court finally hears oral argument re Kenneth Humphrey monetary bail

Washington:

New laws lead some Washington prosecutors to rethink three-strike life sentences

Illinois:

Timoney to remain as Logan County public defender

Cook County public defender Amy Campanelli to seek second term

New Marshall County prosecutor, public defender sworn in

Arkansas:

Courtroom decorum an issue with video conferencing

Pennsylvania:

Wyoming County fires public defender

‘Client advocate’ getting results in Lehigh County public defender’s office as social workers play larger role in criminal justice system

Public interest group says new Pa. court deadline policy hurts the indigent

Foundation memorializes late local attorney

Indiana:

Public defender board hires Sharpe as 2021 administrator

Nebraska:

Public defender’s office seeking new faces (Platte County)

Of Interest:

How thousands of American laws keep people ‘imprisoned’ long after they’re released

Leaving prison without a government ID can block access to housing, jobs and help

Correcting corrections: Lessons for prisons and jails in a post-COVID world

Podcast: Jessica Pishko and Holding Sheriffs Accountable