Public Defense News

2018 Public Defense News Archive

Here you will find past news archived reverse chronologically. The ABA does not maintain external links.

Report a Broken Link

Official Quiz Rules

Current Year's Archive | 2017 Archives | 2016 Archives | 2015 Archives

December

12/20/18

In Memoriam:
Rick Parker, former public defender, dies at 71 (FL)

National:
Senate passes bill that lightens some sentences, expands early release

Opinion: Don't make the First Step Act the only step in justice reform

Okay, what's the second step?

Former public defender: Death penalty states are most in need of criminal justice reform

Criminal justice advocate says recognizing wrongful convictions is only half the struggle

Oregon:
Opinion: Rebuild public defense system

Oregon's public defense system 'is not Constitutional' report finds

Report finds Oregon public defender system is flawed

Paying fairly for public defense

Missouri:
In rural Missouri, going to jail isn't free. You pay for it.

Louisiana:
Opinion: Indigent defense system needs overhaul

With eyes on the budget, Louisiana lawmakers toil away on review of statutory dedications

New York:
NYC public defender, not assigned counsel, to get first call in homicide cases

County hires new public defender (Fulton)

Indiana:
Public defender commission wants money for social worker pilot

Commission meets to figure out ways to help Indiana children

Column: Justice must never be denied

Public defender named a Superior Court magistrate

Texas:
Editorial: How Lubbock became the model for indigent defense in Texas

Arizona:
County's cost in Rector, Ketchner defense up to $2.5 million

New Jersey:
NJ public defender launches class suit against Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital

NJ violated civil rights of psychiatric hospital patients, lawsuit alleges

Michigan:
Changes underway to improve indigent defense (Hillsdale County)

Minnesota:
Hennepin County creating 'restorative court' to help people charged with minor crimes

Pennsylvania:
Somerset attorney questions DOC policy on inmate mail

Judge retires after appeals court removes her from sex offender cases, cites animus toward PD office

Washington:
Eye on Clallam: County to mull deal for criminal defense services

Clallam County commissioners to consider $1.5 million contract for approval today

Illinois:
Assistant public defender talks about 'criminal defense at its essence'

Public defender Jesse Danley appointed interim Coles County state's attorney

Ohio:
Public defender contract renewed (Columbiana)

Of Interest:
Diversion programs offer fresh approach

Why the Sun Herald is changing how it covers crime

Kentucky native, UK grad (and public defender!) Nick Wilson wins "Survivor," claims $1 million prize


12/14/18

National:
The criminal justice reform bill you've never heard of

Ensuring those who can't hire a private lawyer have the best public defender (Ilham Askia)

Oregon:
New Report: Oregon's public defender system flawed

Oregon's public defense system 'is not constitutional' report finds

Louisiana:
State public defender warns Louisiana lawmakers of 'dire scenario' if funding isn't increased

Missouri:
Messenger: Missouri appeals court blasts hole in debtors's prison scheme

Wisconsin:
Attorney shortage causing court delays in court, state

Michigan:
Michigan County sues over new public defender rules (Oakland)

County fights new state standards for providing public defenders (Jackson)

Berrien board agrees to add PDO staff

County's new public defender tells board efforts are on schedule (Shiawassee)

Assistant prosecutor named chief public defender in Ingham County

Utah:
Utah improves criminal defense for poor defendants but still lags by various measures

Utah's troubled public defender system would get a big boost in funding under Gov. Gary Herbert's plan

Montana:
Audit finds minor issues with Montana's public defender division

Audit offers tweaks to public defender division

Washington:
Spokane County commissioners expected to rehire heads of public defender's office, counsel for defense

Mississippi:
Bryant pledges support for cutting criminal punishments

New York:
Fulton County Board of Supervisors to decide on public defender position

Baker appointed as Broome County public defender

When Brooklyn juries gentrify, defendants lose

Nebraska:
Editorial: Douglas County juvenile justice project would be a major plus for our community

Wyoming:
Governor names Casper public defender new Natrona County District Court judge

California:
Solano public defender DA's office battle over conflict of interest charges

Solano's interim public defender held same post before

Governor taps deputy public defender to serve as Solano jurist

Outgoing Solano public defender takes swipe at Solano DA

SF public defender wrong about tenderloin drug dealing

Florida:
Fallout from false arrests

Public defenders to collect professional clothing in annual drive Saturday (Orange-Osceola)

2 Broward public defenders, private defense lawyer eyeing Howard Finkelstein's job

Ruby Green announces candidacy for public defender (Broward)

Of Interest:
How incarcerated parents are losing their children forever

'This isn't just numbers—but lives': Half of Americans have family members who've been incarcerated

Survey: 69 percent of people would use online legal services over attorneys

New Resources:
NAPD: Assistance for the merit-based selection of public defender leader


12/6/18

Report:
ABA SCLAID—Exemplary Defense Project Report

Fines and Fees Justice Center—Clearinghouse

ABA 10 Guidelines on Court Fines and Fees

National:
Public defender Scott Hechinger breaks down America's bail system

Drug rehab in prison? You must be joking

Florida:
'Our hands are tied' Critics say public defender Diamond Litty hurts clients by getting along with prosecutors, Carey Haughwout—her counterpart in Palm Beach—prefers to fight

Diamond Litty: Judges are harsher in conservative Martin County than liberal Palm Beach

Letter: Report on public defenders exposes a flawed system

Letter: Indigent defendants deserve effective counsel

Colorado:
Public defenders file en masse requests to get mentally ill people out of jail

Oregon:
Paying fairly for public defense

Eugene native finds he's perfectly suited to public defender role

California:
California serial killer trial could cost $20 million

Solano deputy public defender enters plea on felony charge

Awards, lunch, memories mark public defender's 50th year in business

Adachi re-elected as S.F. public defender

North Carolina:
Opinion: Yes, jury selection is as racist as you think. Now we have proof.

Pay for court-appointed lawyers remains stagnant

Tennessee:
Donations bring community fund one step closer to bailing someone out

New Jersey:
The Force Report: Five years. 72,607 documents. Every local police department in NJ. We built the most comprehensive statewide database of police use of force in the U.S.

Malpractice claim against public defender tossed over wrongful conviction

Massachusetts:
'I been in hell all my life' (Reentry issues in MA)

Utah:
Kids are coming to court in chains and are sometimes shackled to the floor in one rural Utah courthouse. Here's where it is and why court officials say it's happening.

New York:
County Executive to appoint Michael Baker as public defender (Broome County)

Nevada:
Imlay confirmed as new Clark County public defender

Michigan:
County recommends prosecutor for public defender (Ingham County)

Judge question county hiring process

Of Interest:
Best criminal justice books of the year (Marshall Project)

Why they kneel: 'What's free?' The money bail revolution in Philadelphia and DC

The big chill: I had never been locked up before. No one told me that prison would be so cold.


November

11/29/18

National:
The national crisis of the public defender system

Just how much of an overhaul is this overhaul of the nation's criminal justice system?

Business, progressives unite at Supreme Court against big fines

Opinion: The juvenile justice system is stacked against poor families

California:
Alameda County eliminates some criminal justice fees that saddle inmates

Bail bond industry moves to block sweeping California law, submitting signatures for a 2020 ballot referendum

Landmark California law bars prosecutors from pursuing murder charges against people who didn't commit murder

Solano County public defender's office celebrates 50 years on Friday

Public defender's office to celebrate 50 years with luncheon (Solano)

TV show about public defender's office may be in works after supervisors approve resolution

Mississippi:
Lawmakers—decide on public defense overhaul

Florida:
Carlos Martinez: Public defender's office handles 75,000 cases a year

Public defender decries sentence for police chief who framed minorities

Louisiana:
New Orleans criminal justice leaders hoping to ride a reform wave toward more funding

Costs of Cantrell plan to cut New Orleans traffic cameras? This office could take biggest hit

Michigan:
Ingham County officials set to interview seven public defender candidates

Ionia County public defender asks for big pay raise

Committee rejects public defender raises (Ionia)

Public defender contract OK'd: Office now has three attorneys (Houghton)

North Carolina:
Lawyers needed for pretrial pilot program

Macon wants out of flat fee defense program

Missouri:
Taney County jail population swells; sheriff shares reasons for overcrowding

Heartland federal public defender files motion against acting U.S. AG Matt Whitaker

Speeding ticket turns into a possible 6-month jail term for St. Louis woman

Missouri state public defender's office in Jackson may move to larger space

New York:
New York's highest court rules immigrants deserve jury trials, even for misdemeanors

County gets grant for public defender's office (Montgomery)

Funding to assist with indigent legal work (Chautauqua)

Fulton County Board of Supervisors give nod to plans

NYS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics—Relationship with public defender: Opinion 18-113

Pennsylvania:
Pa. panel says judge is biased against public defenders

Why Raj Jayadev is helping Philly's criminal justice system adopt participatory defense

Why is Malcolm Jenkins bailing out Philly criminal defendants?

Phila. public defenders, Lancaster Co. foster parents hit with $4.5M judgment in child abuse case

Jury: Philly public defenders liable in child abuse case

Washington:
Seattle moves to quash old misdemeanor warrants involving low-level, nonviolent crimes

Public attorneys are trying to waive fees for defendants, but few have utilized the resources

Wyoming:
County public defender office nearly gutted (Carbon)

Nevada:
Veteran deputy picked to head Las Vegas public defender office

Tennessee:
Point, click, but no touch: Debate shapes up over video visitation at Knox jail

Connecticut:
Former No. 2 public defender testifies lawyer for ex-fugitive Adam Zachs did a poor job at 1988 trial

Idaho:
Idaho is one of the only 4 states without a criminal insanity defense

Virginia:
Public defenders blast Arlington prosecutor's cash bail reforms as 'misleading' and ineffective

District of Columbia:
Lawyers are generally free to represent clients paying with crowdfunding, DC bar ethics opinion says

Kansas:
67 inmates in Kansas prison seek release over secret recordings

New Jersey:
NJ Supreme Court says more than 20,000 breathalyzer tests inadmissible

Nebraska:
Job description approved for deputy public defender

Texas:
County finalizes indigent legal services work group

Commissioners seek indigent defense grant (Henderson)

From defendant to top prosecutor, this tattooed Texas DA represents a new wave in criminal justice reform

Illinois:
Public defenders challenging state weapons law

Arkansas:
New federal public defender starts job in Arkansas' Eastern District

Of Interest:
REPORT: Jurors more likely to convict on same level of evidence for more serious crimes, says new Duke study

New black officers, court officials rethinking US policing

Treatment denied: The mental health crisis in federal prisons

Why is Karl Taylor Dead? Our prisons are our mental wards.

Meek Mill: Prisoners Need a New Set of Rights


11/15/18

In Memoriam:
Claudia Jack (Maury County, TN)

National:
New study finds holistic defense effective in reducing mass incarceration

The courts see a crime. These lawyers see a whole life.

Wisconsin:
Not enough public defenders in rural Wisconsin, judge says

Judge vacates contempt order against public defender

Texas:
Attorney's eye-popping $460,000 in earnings to defend indigent clients in Collin County prompting changes

Collin County delays payments to attorney whose bills for indigent defense now top $500,000 for fiscal year

California:
San Luis Obispo County public defenders sued for malpractice

S.F.'s public defender made a documentary about the Kate Steinle trial

Newest San Diego Superior Court judge has long history in federal public defense

Louisiana:
Turning off traffic cameras will mean less money for public defenders, council is told

Lawyered up: Some Louisiana attorneys, programs offer free legal advice to veterans

Arizona:
Cost of defense for murder suspect nears $1 million

Less spent on indigent defense this year in Mohave County

Georgia:
How Georgia's probation system squeezes the poor and feeds mass incarceration

Michigan:
Defender of the public—Montcalm assistant prosecutor hired as county's new public defender admin

Illinois:
Chicago City Council approves modest first reforms on ticketing and debt

What San Francisco's reform of fees and fines can teach Chicago

Morrissey set to be honored by IACDL

Of Interest:
Voters want criminal justice reform. Are politicians listening?

Trump endorses easing some mandatory sentencings laws

Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on absolutely. Except this.


11/9/18

Missouri:
Missouri's rural jailing policies hurt public safety in our cities

Michigan:
Kalamazoo County moves forward with plan for public defender's office

County board accepts state grant, with reluctance (St. Joseph County)

A fairer fight—Counties get state help to improve indigent defense

Texas:
Harris Co. judge doesn't return to court Thursday after releasing juvenile defendants

Outrage over judge's decision to release defendants after losing reelection

GOP judge releases juvenile defendants after election loss: 'Obviously what the voters wanted'

Harris County judges may face a reckoning over bail on election day

California:
Public defender against moving San Francisco inmates to Alameda County jails

Longtime Solano County public defender calls it a career

Solano DA's office files felony charge against deputy public defender

New York:
Bill seeks to end 'unjust and nonsensical' disparity in scope of appellate representation

Steuben budget to be presented Nov 15

Nevada:
Clark County looking at 4 finalists for public defender position

New Jersey:
Fake public defender, imposter trick two Trenton women into giving up bank information

Mississippi:
Hinds County public defender Adofo Minka fights back

Washington:
Anita Khandelwal confirmed as King County's new public defender

Despite critical audit, county likely to name new head of public defense department

Pennsylvania:
Jobs open for Erie-based federal prosecutor, public defender

Of Interest:
New Orleans Saints program cover story: Demario Davis

Editorial: Louisianans came together on unanimous juries


11/2/18

National:
1 in 55 U.S. adults is on probation or parole

Criminal justice on the Tuesday ballot

Wisconsin:
'I'm going to stand up': Northern Wisconsin judge demands answers from state on public defender crisis

A judge orders detention of public defender for 'acting like I'm some kind of idiot'

Milwaukee County judge under fire for detaining defense lawyer, who wound up shackled

Defense lawyers group calls on Borowski to fix contempt error and apologize … or resign

Texas:
Harris County juvenile judges and private attorneys accused of cronyism: "Everyone wins but the kids"

Minnesota:
Who says there's not free ride? Grant will get public defender clients to court

New York:
NYC public defenders, district attorneys demand pay parity

Oregon:
Editorial: Fix pay disparity for public defenders

Ohio:
Pointing to a state code, Clinton County public defender office asks for salary increase

Mississippi:
After 22 months, charges dropped so man can get treatment

Louisiana:
Louisiana judge threatens to appoint every eligible lawyer to death penalty case

Opinion: New Orleans' bail 'reform' has been a detriment to public's safety

Michigan:
State budget offers big payday for public defender's office: Berrien will seek reimbursement

Berrien County has new chief public defender

Kentucky:
Freaky Friday, prison style: At a Kentucky prison, inmates and staff switch places during a "re-entry to society" role-playing game

Nebraska:
Commissioners hold emergency meeting to discuss public defense

Board wants justification for deputy public defender (Seward County)

New York:
County departments feeling squeeze on staff, funding (Jefferson County)

Cayuga County budget workshop looks at criminal justice spending

Florida:
Hurricane Michael changes due process for inmates

California:
Public defenders office holds clothing drive for indigent clients

Indiana:
Second phase of jail study released: Says Vigo County doesn't have to start with 527-bed jail

Stepping down as public defender (Piatt County)

South Carolina:
York County public defender involved in police shooting case awarded SC honor

Pennsylvania:
Apfelbaum resigns as public defender

Arkansas:
New federal public defender appointed for Eastern District of Arkansas

Tennessee:
Shelley Thompson Gardner sworn in as public defender


October

10/24/18

National:
Less than half of Americans think death penalty applied fairly, according to Gallup poll

There is nothing inevitable about America's over-use of prisons

Texas:
2 Harris County judges responsible for 1 in 5 children sent to state juvenile prisons

Report: Texas Mental Health Defender Programs

Public defender office task force off to a slow start

Wisconsin:
State public defender pay, accessibility causing gridlock in Brown, other Wisconsin courts

Washington:
Washington state's highest court strikes twin blows for criminal justice

Missouri:
Boone County public defenders get more money to handle wait list

Tennessee:
Shelby County DA's office stops prosecuting many cases of driving with a revoked license

Pennsylvania:
Larry Krasner's campaign to end mass incarceration

Oregon:
Public defenders make far less than prosecutors. An Oregon lawmaker wants to give them a raise.

Maryland:
Review of Baltimore police gun trace task force cases slows; defense lawyers criticize delay

Kansas:
Judge frees prisoner after ex-prosecutor testified she eavesdropped on calls with her attorneys

Kentucky:
Louisville judge orders public defender into custody until he can 'quiet down'

New York:
First public defenders career fair draws more than 180 employers & law students

Michigan:
Michigan indigent defense commission approves Oakland County's $6.7 million compliance plan

State approves Isabella public defense plan

County board approves Corwin as public defender (Shiawassee)

Nebraska:
Tegtmeier sworn in as public defender

Two interview for public defender appointment (wrongly reported as South Dakota last week)

Public defender's law license suspended


10/18/18

National:
Commentary: Trump unexpectedly supports criminal justice reform act

Missouri:
Director: Public defenders can't 'keep up' with caseloads

Michigan:
Money and justice in west Michigan

Hamilton selected as county's new public defender (Ottawa)

Board nears final vote on first public defender (Shiawassee)

Utah:
Utah panel gives early OK to bill expanding juvenile access to public defenders

Commentary: Our hard work to reform the juvenile justice system in Utah is not yet complete

Texas:
Travis County takes steps to form indigent services task force

County looks to legal community for public defender office task force

Oklahoma:
William Reece trial postponed; Public defender's office condition to blame

Pennsylvania:
Opinion: Philadelphia bail watch volunteers document daily injustices of cash bail

Illinois:
Being accountable: More defendants make case for mental health care

Oregon:
Oregon appeals court to hear case contesting non-unanimous juries

South Carolina:
Judge denies accused Florence shooter's request for public defender

California:
Alameda County sergeant claims he misunderstood law when recording suspects and their attorneys

Deputy public defender pleads guilty to giving gun to felon

South Dakota:
Two interview for public defender appointment

Ohio:
Commissioners prepare for state conference


10/12/18

In Memoriam:
Robert Johnson (Los Angeles, CA)

Aaron Cagney (New Castle, PA)

National:
Editorial: The public defender system is broken

Washington:
Washington State strikes down death penalty, citing racial bias

Pennsylvania:
Interactive map: a county-by-county look at spending on public defense in Pennsylvania

Commissioners OK criminal defense work contract (Lawrence County)

Philadelphia courts to stop withholding bail fee

Westmoreland hikes fees to remove some records from criminal court dockets

Missouri:
Lack of funding, staff afflicts Missouri's public defender system, state officials say

Jailed for being poor is a Missouri epidemic

Michigan:
And justice for all? Report identifies deficiencies in legal services for the low income

County, state at odds over indigent contract

Carol Koenig gives up Ingham County seat, but is still on ballot for re-election

Ohio:
The State of Ohio must address funding challenges facing counties

Re-building state and county relationships

Wisconsin:
A look at public defender pay in Wisconsin

Oregon:
Oregon lawmakers plan reforms to stop crushing people with court fees and driver's license suspensions for parking and traffic tickets

Texas:
A public defender office in Travis County?

North Carolina:
Author John Grisham says most NC death row inmates did not receive a fair trial

Condemned by antiquated NC capital crime standards: Majority on death row convicted before reforms

Louisiana:
Suit over public defenders dismissed

State to pay $1 million for juvenile lifers' legal defense

Alabama:
Escalating cycle of Alabama court fines, fees counter public safety aims, new report says

Court costs drive some Alabama residents back to crime, study claims

Nebraska:
Sarpy public defenders to see pay raise

New York:
A day in the life of a public defender

Job fair to launch public defender hiring spree

California:
SF public defender has attorney take polygraph in joust with judge

Tennessee:
Gibbons names Sullivan County public defender


10/4/18

Pennsylvania:
With private money fueling fight against drug crime in Blair County, public defenders feel squeezed

Decades after landmark lawsuit caseload concerns continue in Allegheny County's public defender office

PA's unequal public defender system

Despite outlier status, PA lawmakers don't make public defense a priority

Wrongful murder conviction points to problems with public defense in PA—only state without central funding, oversight

Indiana:
Indiana Public Defender Commission pushing for reforms to improve public defense resources

Editorial: For the defense: State must do more to protect defendants; rights

New York:
Capitol Pressroom: Tina Luongo on public defender pay parity

NYC moves teens from Rikers Island: 'Kids will be treated like kids,' says Mayor

Illinois:
High turnover slows pace of justice in Winnebago County: 'I just want a steady attorney'

California:
With no benefits and less pay than prosecutors, entry-level public defenders want a raise

Shakeup at the Merced County public defender's office leaves questions

SF judge denies allegations of racial bias made by Public Defender Adachi

Lawyer accuses OC Sheriff's Department of conspiracy in illegally recorded attorney-inmate phone calls

California governor signs criminal justice reforms

Virginia:
Opinion: America's public defense system must be reformed

Missouri:
ACLU holds town hall to address "disastrous" public defender system

Massachusetts:
ACLU, public defenders file brief in texting-suicide appeal of Plainville woman

Michigan:
County, state at odds over indigent contract (Midland County)

Ottawa County to create $2.8M public defender office

Wexford board to finalize wording of indigent defense job postings

Connecticut:
99-year-old (public defense) lawyer will retire 'when they carry me out of here'

Washington:
Reforms coming to King County inquests into officer-involved deaths

Khandelwal nominated to lead King County Department of Public Defense


September

9/27/18

In Memoriam:
David Turk—Georgia

Harold W.W. "Chip" Wallace III—Georgia

Bill Ruzzo—Pennsylvania

Louisiana:
Judge appoints every lawyer in state to defend alleged Facebook killer or explain why they can't

Orleans Parish chief defender: Public defense needs funding, reform

California:
Alameda County looks to eliminate fines, fees for defendants

Court reaffirms child molester was denied due process when he remained held 17 years after finishing his sentence

Longtime San Diego defense lawyer to become Los Angeles County public defender

Jail inmate attacks public defender in Solano courtroom

SF public defender alleges judge in murder case has racial bias, requests removal

More tension in SF homicide case after public defender Jeff Adachi contacts grand jurors

Public defender challenging credibility of suspended San Bernardino County gang prosecutor and DA's office

Nevada:
Report: Right to counsel in rural Nevada

New Hampshire:
N.H. Supreme Court rules in favor of defendants who can't repay legal fees

New law places limits on collecting court costs from poor people

Indiana:
Public defender commission announces legislative priorities

Sheriffs, public defense task force shine spotlight on jail overcrowding

Council sings praises for public defender board; group maintains budget for another year

Michigan:
Public defender's office proving its worth, report says

Ottawa County to get $2.8M public defender office

Missouri:
Public defenders say they're too busy for Springfield man accused of raping 9-year-old

St. Louis public defender and prosecutor reach agreement over how fast evidence is turned over

New public defender (Ezra Cahn)

Illinois:
Prosecutors' role focus of League of Women Voters study

Charges to be thrown out against 18 more men whose convictions linked to corrupt Chicago cop

Strough resigning as Iroquois County public defender

Cook County public defender warns of phone scam

Delaware:
Public defender criticizes state's secrecy in Vaugh prison riot case

Maryland:
Editorial: We must keep our juvenile facilities safe from violent offenders

Wisconsin:
Public safety focuses on enhancing services (public defender fee—Burnett County)

Connecticut:
City lawyers withheld dozens of complaints of police misconduct from watchdog panel

Task force will look at establishing special opioid courts

New York:
State grants would continue public defender programs (Cattaraugus County)

Massachusetts:
ACLU and public defender group support appeal of Michelle Carter, woman convicted of manslaughter for pressuring boyfriend into suicide

Florida:
Florida inmate threatens to kill Leon County public defender, judge

Carey Haughwout to lead state public defender's association

New Mexico:
Secrecy practice in NM federal court goes deeper than documents, defense lawyers say

Oklahoma:
Asbestos forces dozens of Oklahoma County employees to evacuate

'Real serious problem,' Dozens of public defenders, employees displaced after asbestos discovery


9/13/18

National:
Judicial Conference addresses workplace conduct and criminal justice act issues

Same Topic: NACDL: Judicial Conference takes steps toward greater independence for federal public defender system

Oklahoma:
Public defender system needs more money, observers say

Louisiana:
2nd Circuit upholds DeSoto judge's ruling in DA, public defender financing agreement

SPLC: Louisiana appellate court ruling ensure independent public defender system

New Orleans can't limit street art sales to French Quarter

California:
Opinion: Replacing one bad bail system with another

Imprisoned by algorithms: the dark side of California ending cash bail

Judge slams Alameda County sheriff's office over illegal recording, investigation continues

Contra Costra public defenders want to be paid as much as prosecutors

Editorial: Attorney-client communications supposed to be confidential. They're not.

New Jersey:
Editorial: Implement recommended municipal court reforms now

Tennessee:
Prosecutors worry a new ethics opinion is a 'tactical weapon'

Oregon:
Oregon attorneys argue state's juvenile sentencing laws are unconstitutional

New York:
In bid to close pay disparity, NYC Legal Aid calls for funding boost

Subway policing in New York City still has a race problem

Monroe County public defender marks 50 years

Michigan:
Indigent defense: officials not convinced the state will fund mandates

Ottawa County's $2.9M public defender's office to be operational in 2019

Ionia County continues adding to new public defender office

Indigent defense funding still concerns Montcalm County officials

Gov. Snyder makes reappointments to the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission

Illinois:
Winnebago County considers raises for public defender, state's attorney offices

New Jersey:
John Choi (prosecutor) to hire immigration lawyer for Ramsey County

Pennsylvania:
Why thousands in PA have had their licenses suspended without a DUI or driving violation

Report on capital punishment in Pennsylvania (including cost)

Texas:
Dallas County's secret bail machine

DNA lab closure, indigent defense: Travis County tackles justice issues

After public defender's online campaign takes off, jail lifts book limits, launches book club

Nevada:
Report details sexual harassment claims against public defender

Connecticut:
99-year-old law school alum finds purpose as public defender

North Carolina:
Powell names chief public defender for new office

Of Interest:
Report: Wrongful convictions have stolen at least 20,000 years from innocent defendants

Serial takes on Cleveland's criminal court system—podcasts of the week


9/6/18

In Memoriam:
Susan Scarborough, Ramsey County public defender, sent her life advocating for children

National:
Opinion: Baltimore public defender offers a lesson on the law for Judge Kavanaugh

'It always comes down to money': How a nonprofit is changing lives by paying bail

Missouri:
St. Louis Prosecutor says she will no longer accept cases from 28 city police officers

Judge expected to rule on requiring court orders to release names of blacklisted St. Louis police officers

Mississippi:
Local public defenders 'maxed out' with cases

New Hampshire:
For state, a new approach to bail

Indiana:
Help wanted: More attorneys needed to represent indigent clients (Montgomery Co.)

California:
Both anti-bail groups and the bail industry oppose Senate Bill 10

A DNA test implicates an innocent man. What happened?

Uptrust launches partnership with Yolo County public defender's office

Washington:
Lewis County decries unfunded mandates amid statewide efforts to pressure legislature

'Shaken baby' case the flashpoint in conflict among defense attorneys

Why don't police enforce laws against camping in Seattle parks and streets?

Florida:
Opinion - Rober Vlcancich: Is the delivery of justice in Marion County just?

Louisiana:
Nearly 200 people at the expungement one year anniversary

N. Mariana Islands:
OPD: Police's ID procedures overly suggestive

Nebraska:
County contracts for PD (Dawes Co.)

Utah:
Change, fresh faces mark new era for local criminal justice system (Carbon Co.)

Nevada:
Top Vegas public defender disciplined in sex harassment case

Tennessee:
Martesha Johnson, Nashville's new public defender, says she'll speak against injustice

Dawn Deaner on two decades in public defense and what's next

Public defender Richard Hughes outlines 'wow factors' of opioid crisis

Pennsylvania:
Franklin County commissioners appoint new chief public defender

Kentucky:
Louisville's top public defender stepping aside after 36 years

Of Interest:
How the Trump administration is remaking the courts


August

8/30/18

Louisiana:
Judge grants class-action status to lawsuit against Louisiana public defender system

Court certifies class action in SPLC lawsuit against Louisiana's public defender system

California:
California Gov. Jerry Brown signs overhaul of bail system, saying now 'rich and poor alike are treated fairly'

California abolishes money bail with a landmark law but some reformers think it creates new problems

Criminal justice system fees for 21,000 waived

Alameda County deputy secretly recorded attorney conversations with minors

Details emerge in felony rape case against former Solano public defender

Mendocino County hires Jeffrey Aaron as new public defender

The government is barred from taping attorneys' talks with inmates. So why is it happening in SoCal?

Wisconsin:
County looks to increase access to public defenders via increased compensation (Racine)

Nevada:
One step closer to decriminalizing traffic tickets

Clark County finishes its investigation into public defender Phil Kohn

Michigan:
And justice for all: Marquette County public defender's office to be created

Opinion: Public defender plan will improve quality of legal representation (Marquette)

Grant helping public defender office expand its staff (Chippewa County)

Idaho:
Despite debate, status quo remains for public defense

Change comes to public defender office (Gem)

West Virginia:
Jefferson County depletes indigent defense funds

Ohio:
State support for public defenders to drop

Texas:
Indigent defense contract saves money for county (Dawson)

South Carolina:
'Public defender' scam alert issued

Florida:
Federal Judge: Leon County setting unaffordable bail is unconstitutional

Pennsylvania:
Al Flora weighs in on litigation resulting in his $250,000 settlement

New Mexico:
Defense lawyer blasts feds for secret response to racial profiling

New York:
Ontario County drug court gets financial boost

Indiana:
Sheriff, public defender pitch budgets (Lawrence)

Proposed public defender budget same as last year (Knox)

New York:
Bronx public defender calls out Maggie Haberman for defending prosecutors on plea deals

New Jersey:
He's a 'Love & Hip Hop' star and Hackensack's public defender. How does he have the time?

Florida:
Public defenders win judge seats in Duval County

Illinois:
Kane County public defender makes her case for funding increase

Talk of the county: Public defender's office dog may not be a comfort to all children

Oregon:
Law clerks gain experience in Deschutes courtrooms

Tennessee:
Longtime public defender Comer Donnell to retire

Alaska:
After years of bulldogging prosecutors, David Case leaves Bethel public defender's office


8/23/18

National:
Millions are caught up in America's criminal-jusice system because they are poor

Nevada:
Commission told Legislature must fix rural criminal defense problems

California:
Alameda County sheriff's office secretly recorded juvenile, attorney, video reveals

Same Topic:
Alameda County sheriff's office accused of secrety recording juvenile crime suspect's converesations with attorney

Alameda County public defender claims sheriff involved in 'illegal' client-attorney recordings

OC public defenders wade into inmate call recording flap

LA County hasn't had a public defender in 2 years. It just appointed one.

Ricardo Garcia named Los Angeles public defender

Texas:
Opinon: Representation at bail hearings should be just the start

Pennsylvania:
Litigation settlement (with public defender over firing) (Luzeren County)

Nebraska:
A Q & A with Sarpy County public defender and CoPA Commissioner Tom Strigenz

Debate lines are drawn in emotional public hearing on proposd $120 million justice center

Michigan:
County votes to create public defender program (Shiawassee County)

Downes anmed Ionia County's public defender

Florida:
Column: Brad King: 'I did not have input regarding . . . any county judges'

Illinois:
Dogs that comfort kids in court? Lake County selected as first public defender's office in US to have one

Washington:
New app helps public defender communicate with clients

New York:
Albany prosecutor resigns, will become public defender

Arizona:
Public defender contract vote delayed amid questions

Ohio:
State support for public defenders to drop

Lake County public defender to retire

Of Interest:
Prisoners nationwide go on strike to protest 'modern-day slavery'

Defense attorneys challenge judges over Trump immigration policies


8/16/18

Report:
Juvenile Law Center: Paying for justice: The high cost of 'free' counsel for youth in the juvenile justice system

Prison Policy Initiative: Nowhere to Go: Homelessness among formerly incarcerated people

National:
Governors: We need bipartisan criminal justice reform to improve lives and our workforce

Courts in most states charge juveniles to exist inside the justice system. This movement wants to change that.

US's largest organization of lawyers agrees that courts must stop treating people like ATMs

Louisiana:
SPLC, ACLU join DeSoto judge in questioning D.A., public defender funding agreement

Two rulings, one conclusion: 'User-pay' court funding unconstitutional

Opinion: It's time for Louisiana to strip white supremacy from its Constiution

Florida:
Judge defends tough policy on application fee

California:
California may redo law to treat, free suspects

This is not the bail reform California needs

Solano County deputy public defender indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting coworker

Pennsylvania:
Allegheny County has an underfunded public defender's office that doesn't even spend all its money

Ohio:
Cleveland PD office faced problems similar to Allegheny County's, but got funding increased

Public defenders office receives funding: Office to see 30 percent budget raise (Trumbull County)

Oklahoma:
Judge seeks a raise for Oktibbeha's public defenders

Michigan:
State offers to pay half of security costs for Isabella public defense office

Ionia County officials interview 3 chief public defender candidates

County considers public defender office (Shiawassee County)

New public defender administrator position to be implemented (Livingston County)

Arizona:
County's cost of Rector defense nears $1M

Cost of juvenile dependency cases strain counties (Mohave County)

New York:
Participatory defense: Shifting the courtroom 'balance of power'

Texas:
Harris County DA ran as a reformer. So why is she pushing high bail for minor offenses?

New employees at public defender's office (Webb County)

New Jersey:
Police dash camera recordings not public under state law, NJ Supreme Court rules

Colorado:
El Paso County scheduled to decide whether to settle ACLU lawsuit over jailed woman (failure to pay)

Tennessee:
Retiring Stephen Bush supports DOJ continuing to monitor juvenile court

Opinion: Voters putting faith in criminal justice reform

Nevada:
Sisolak irked at slowness of query into public defender's office

West Virginia:
Chief public defender credits predecessors, public service for success

Of Interest:
Louisiana, Oregon should require unanimous juries for felony convictions, ABA House urges

Why Tennessee is challenging the DOJ's ethics

A dangerous brain: Can neuroscience predict how likely someone is to commit another crime?

Throwing children away: The school to prison pipeline


8/11/18

National:
ABA adopts guidelines aimed at preventing fines and fees that penalize poverty

Story about overworked public defender is winner of ABA Journal/Ross Writing Contest

Attorneys recommend reforms of crippling court fines, fees

Louisiana:
Federal judge: Orleans criminal court can't jail anyone for failing to pay fines or fees without 'neutral' hearing

Fifth Circuit hears challenge to public-defender wait list

Same Topic:
ACLU appeals over New Orleans public defender wait lists

Judges in public defender case skeptical of federal role

Nevada:
Vegas lost: Nevada just doesn't know if its juvenile justice programs are working

Massachusetts:
Public defenders' bid for union rights again falls short

Illinois:
Shortage in attorneys impacts Winnebago County jail population

South Carolina:
Grand jury averaged 39 second per case: York County lawyers want 900 indictments tossed

Texas:
Commissioners approve increased pay for court-appointed attorneys

Effort to curb unfunded state mandates likely to return in 2019

California:
Editorial: Bugging conversations between criminal defendants and their lawyers is bad news

Utah:
Funds authorized for defense of Ogden couple in death penalty case

Washington:
Head of public defense faces backlash from County after opposing youth jail

Florida:
Palm Beach County public defender overcomes criminal past

Veteran administrator of Treasure Coast's public defender office given statewide award

Georgia:
Top public defender, returning to law firm life, points up 'contrast' at office he leaves behind

Michigan:
County board names interim public defender (Berrien County)

Tennessee:
Editorial: Stephen Bush's innovative, steadfast public defense

Of Interest:
John Oliver explains how prosecutors, not judges or juries, control your fate in court

Warren: Criminal justice system is 'racist' . . .'front to back'


8/3/18

Washington:

Spokane County public defenders stopped assigning cases for the second straight month

Head of public defense says she’s blacklisted after opposing youth jail

Nevada:

Consultant says Nevada public defender system needs oversight

Time, cost of Nevada death penalty cases sparks debate

Missouri:

Deadly shooting caught on video. Did overworked public defender cost this man his freedom?

California:

Los Angeles public defender unionize

LAPD, other authorities arranged courthouse recording that prompted confidentiality concerns, court document shows

Michigan:

County’s challenge to Michigan Indigent Defense Commission dismissed

First MIDC funds to arrive to county by October

Wanted: Chief public defender for Ionia County

Wisconsin:

Higher caseloads bogging down public defenders

Indiana:

The DNA didn’t match. The witnesses weren’t sure. But the prosecution persisted.

Public defender eyes new offices, increased efficiency

Florida:

Defense attorneys want judge to withdraw from criminal cases

Gov. Scott names former public defender, prosecutor as circuit judge

New Jersey:

Suspect’s hearing adjourned for lack of attorney, strong support by friends

These 20 people are going to help figure out what to do with weed cases in NJ

Kansas:

Justice Department nixes agreements in prison recording case

New Mexico:

Court to hold more preliminary hearings, fewer grand juries

Same Topic:
Court plans major cuts to grand jury system

Louisiana:

EBR DA, public defender announce ‘historic’ agreement on discovery of evidence

New York:

Public-defenders office a possibility for Clinton Co.

Illinois:

Former DuPage assistant public defender testifies in 2002 murder hearing

The difference with this round of Chicago police reform? A federal judge.

Nebraska:

Editorial: Douglas County needs to provide full details about justice-center proposal

Colorado:

Boulder public defender Megan Ring taking over state office

Arizona:

Frame named new Parker public defender

Tennessee:

Shelby County chief public defender steps down

Of Interest:

Sent to a hospital, but locked in prison

I’ve been covering the detention of terrorism suspects for 15 years.  What have we learned?

“I don’t feel that I’m any safer”: Juror speaks out against 40-year sentence for drug dealer he helped convict


July

7/26/18

In Memoriam:
Board of Supervisors issues posthumous tribute to former public defender Michael P. Judge

National:
The Dickensian return of debtors' prisons

Louisiana, New York and Missouri take legal action against unconstitutional public defense

Louisiana:
Defendants facing death penalty go months without representation

EBR DA, public defnder announce 'historic' agreement on discovery of evidence

Michigan:
The right to counsel and the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission—Part II

Public defender post will help in legal defense

Payments for Berrien public defender's office on their way

County looks for new public defender (Berrien)

Washington:
Spokane County public defenders to begin sending text reminders for court dates

California:
A court decision in California threatens to erode the constitutional right to a lawyer (limits on appellate representation)

LA authorities recorded privileged attorney-client conversations, district attorney says

Court rules against public defneder who sued SF alleging wrongful arrest

Texas:
Opinion: Public defender should be at all initial appearances

Ohio:
Licking County commissioners raise rates for court-appointed attorneys

Same Topic:
Licking County lawyers receive pay bump after threatening to stop taking cases

Licking County defense attorneys refusing new cases due to pay issues

Commissioners to discuss public defender's budget (Portage County)

Nevada:
Commissioners mulling options for county public defender position (Lincoln County)

Same Topic:
Public defender decisions loom

Oklahoma:
Federal public defender speaks about case, trial profiled in ABC's "The Last Defense"

West Virginia:
Prosecuting attorney's office files to have public defender removed (Preston County)

New York:
Court watchers hold 'progressive' DAs accountable

Rosen receives award from NYSDA

Illinois:
Cops slammed for ticketing black cyclists: 'It's about the police harassing people'

Florida:
Jacksonville public defender's camp program blends education and games

Pennsylvania:
Couty's newest assistant public defender no stranger to area (Wilkes Barre)

Ricci joins public defender's office team

Of Interest:
Tennessee to appeal fedeal court ruling on driver's license reinstatement

LAPD officials defend predictive policing as activists call for its end

In the past decade, nearly 26,000 murders have gone without an arrest in major American cities


7/19/18

In Memoriam:

Longtime head of Arkansa public defender commission dies at 56 (Didi Sallings)

Michael P. Judge, (LA) county public defender for nearly 16 years, dies at age 74

National:

Text-message reminders are a cheap and effective way to reduce pretrial detention

Georgia:

Some Fulton County defenders given 1,000 cases a year, group complains

Utah:

Utah works to improve public defense

California:

No, Prop 47 didn’t decriminalize misdemeanors

Board members aim to solve public safety; DA says prosecution needs funding too (Shasta County)

From Sacramento to San Joaquin, juveniles with murder charges are rare

Delivering independent overight of Orange county’s homeless response

New Mexico:

NM’s chief deputy defender to resign

New protocol for public defenders

Arizona:

Convicted felons can seek legal advice at no cost with public defenders

Texas:

1,100 turn out for event to clear criminal records in north Harris County

Louisiana:

State audit says DeSoto DA pulled money from other agencies through ‘traffic diversion’ programs

Michigan:

The right to counsel and the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission

Public defender office in the works (Montcalm)

Washington:

Spokane public defenders try texting to get clients to court

Nebraska:

ACLU of Nebraska to use bail fund for low-income inmates

New York:

Wyoming County supervisors approve public defender’s office capital project

Of Interest:

Can’t afford a lawyer? Civil representation is too expensive for many, but Washington state has one solution.

Federal death penalty prosecutors accuse one another of destroying evidence and other misconduct in discrimination suit


7/13/18

Report:

NACDL: The Trial Penalty: The Sixth Amendment Right to a Trial on the Verge of Extinction and the How to Save It

National:

Morehouse to host national public defender training program

Criminalizing homelessness violates basic human rights

Will a polarized national climate derail justice reforms?

California:

California Supreme Court rules indigent litigants are entitled to free court reporter

Washington:

King County's top public defender resigns after Dow Constantine won’t reappoint her

Iowa:

Paid to represent Iowa's poor, these attorneys were instead convicted of bilking the system

Same Topic:

4 out of 14 attorneys convicted of overbilling in Iowa

Louisiana:

Criminal justice overhaul saves $12.2 million in its first year

New Jersey:

There is no constitutional right to cash money bail, 3rd Circuit rules

Hudson's top public defender tapped to head statewide appellate section

Washington:

Letter: Public defender system abused

Kentucky:

Kentucky's death penalty reviewed in Frankfort

Connecticut:

ICE's arrest policy at courthouse raises alarm in Connecticut’s legal community

Georgia:

Georgia prosecutors, public defenders keep their eyes on salaries

Dooly commissioners approved funding for public defender’s office

Attorney alleges News story, blog post defamed client

Mississippi:

A juror's regret on sentencing a Mississippi man to his death

Petty charges, princely profits (bail)

Florida:

Parents win tug of war over son’s attorney in New Tampa attack on bicyclists

Nevada:

Commissioners approve appointment of new Washoe County public defender

Maryland:

'My lawyer!': A legendary Baltimore public defender retires

Minnesota:

Dodge County public defender retires after 22 years

Illinois:

Two familiar faces join public defender's office

Nebraska:

County adds to public defender's office

Same Topic:

Hall County adds help for public defender to keep costs down

Of Interest:

'There have to be limits': Guantanamo attorneys challenge lifetime imprisonment without charge

Deported in a moment (Operation Streamline)

Separated from her son, one migrant mom takes on the feds

A look into some of Judge Kavanaugh's criminal justice opinions

Median pay for public service lawyers rises modestly, NALP report

Same Topic:

New survey finds public service law salaries dwarfed by big law pay


7/6/18:

National:
The Film 'Unaccompanied' depicts how migrant children defense themselves alone in court

Washington:
Spokane public defenders' felony caseload may impact indigent defense

County commissioners authorize hiring two additional public defenders days after office suspends new cases

Public defender's office suspends handling new cases

Same Topic:
No public defenders available for Spokane County felony cases

Spokane County delays providing public defenders to defendants who can't afford to hire lawyers

Louisiana:
Why arraignment for New Orleans man accused of killing young daughter was delayed again (PD Budget)

Wisconsin:
Supreme Court urges legislature to act on SPD rate, raises pay for court-appointments

Local attorney reacts to pay raise for public defenders

Wisconsin Supreme Court takes small step to address pay for lawyers representing indigent defendants

Montana:
Contract public defenders sue over hourly rate decrease

Missouri:
Opinion: Poor and need a lawyer in Missouri? The public defender system is failing its clients

Nevada:
Officials told Nevada lacks indigent defendant services

New York:
Public defender's office asks Washington County for more help

Criminal convictions behind them, few have had their records sealed

Pennsylvania:
Ex-public defender settles lawsuit against county

American Bar Association endorses PA death penalty report

Pittsburgh public defender announces run for district attorney against 20-year incumbent

Same topic:
Public defender launches challenge to Allegheny DA

The killing of Antwon Rose inspired a black public defender to make a change in his city

Alaska:
New law gives judges more discretion when setting bail

Texas:
Lavaca, Goliad counties receive public defense funding

Meet the Harris County public defender who's crowdsourcing books for her clients

Defense lawyers read Declaration of Independence in front of Texas tent city for immigrant children

Wyoming:
Professor says public defender did not properly represent man who kidnapped and sexually abused Casper boy

Massachusetts:
Dollars and sentences: SJC decision drives some judges to set lower bail

New Mexico:
Women accuse public defender's office of violating fair pay act

California:
Makeshift court at annual stand down event saves taxpayers money

Public defender's immigration team reaches a milestone

Florida:
Tug-of-war rages over who will represent man accused of moving down New Tampa family

New podcast talks about what criminal justice actually looks like in Miami

West Virginia:
Public defender corporation celebrates drug treatment program

South Carolina:
Greenville County gets a new lead public defender after a quarter-century. He has his hands full.

Vermont:
New public defender came from environmental law

Of Interest:
He was shot in the back by a cop . . .then spent 18 months in jail

Opinion: It's not just at the border. The U.S. separates families all the time.


June

6/28/18

National:
The silent threat to justice

Montana:
Contract public defenders sue Montana over hourly rate decrease due to budget cuts

Column: Enforce Montana law to fund public defenders

Wisconsin:
Wisconsin Supreme Court takes small step to address pay for lawyers representing indigent defendants

Limited ruling by Wisconsin Supreme Court ensures Wisconsin's public defense system to remain in crisis 'indefinitely'

Missouri:
Kansas City public defender's office gets another shot to argue it's overworked

Law governing public defender sees its first challenge

Georgia:
ACLU alleges lawyer 'extorted' arrestee's mother for son's defense

Same Topic:
Glynn County, Georgia's crooked public defender

This city may have the first criminal justice system to be led entirely by black women (South Fulton)

Hall public defender Vaughan re-elected to State Bar executive committee

Idaho:
Blaine County continues to push public defense changes

Texas:
Federal public defender explains challenges under 'zero tolerance' immigration policy

Appellate lawyer of the week: Austin federal public defender beats the odds in SCOTUS victory

Knife's use for bathroom drawer analyzed before Lubbock jury's not-guilty verdict

California:
Santa Cruz County civil grand jury: Gather data before changing public defender system

Problems getting detainees to court on time magnified under 'zero tolerance' immigration crackdown

LA County approves $31 billion budget adding funds for four immigration lawyers

SF public defender seeks order forcing California courts to follow bail reform decision

New York:
Locked up for three decades without a trial

Former St. Lawrence County DA Rain has law license suspended by state supreme court

Correia named Wayne County public defender

Hosken retiring from Federal Public Defender office

New Mexico:
Women file suit over pay in public defender's office

Oregon:
Immigrant men detained in Oregon prison still don't have lawyers. Instead, they endure an outbreak of scabies.

Oregon's federal public defender files for release of immigrant detainees

Judge: Feds must allow lawyers access to ICE detainees

Pennsylvania:
The danger of automating criminal justice

County councilman objects to fund transfer (Wilkes Barre DP case)

Louisiana:
Rapides DA, public defender's office offer bench warrant forgiveness event

DA DeRosier responds to ethics complaint about LACE

Tennessee:
Study: Banning death penalty in severe mental illness cases would save state nearly $1.4 M yearly

Aisha McWeary: FACES of Nashville (PD)

Arizona:
Attorney Puchek named state's best public defender

Michigan:
Montcalm County indigent defense plan still pending

Public defender stepping down (Berrien County)

Illinois:
Henry County expands public defender's office

Indiana:
Public defender board will likely meet in July (Knox County)

Of Interest:
The broad reach of Carpenter v. United States

Immigrant toddlers ordered to appear in court alone

Training the brain to stay out of jail

Influence and justice: An investigation into the power of prosecutors

Off the salary battlefield, public sectors struggles with retention, student debt


6/21/18

Report:
Course Corrections: National Public Defender Summit on Mental Health and Criminal Justice

National:
A public defender on immigration cases and separations

Texas:
Opinion: Bexar spends millions on private attorneys—with no oversight

Texas defender wages court war on border separations

"We don't know because they won't tell us": What it's like to be a federal public defender on the Texas border right now

Illinois:
SCOTUS passes on public defender conflict case

Michigan:
Michigan lawmakers approve $84 million to give the poor a fair fight in court

Berrien public defender moving on: Carl Macpherson to take job in Oregon

Missouri:
Public defender wait lists in St. Louis County not a solution to Missouri's constitutional crisis

New York:
You've been arrested. Will you get bail? Can you pay it? It may all depend on your judge.

New Hampshire:
ACLU challenges state's deb collection practices for indigent defendants

Minnesota:
Hennepin Co. public defender's office reviewing all sedation cases after MPD draft report

Indiana:
Letter: Public defenders should be providing effective services

Mississippi:
Ex-Hinds county public defender fired after qualifying to run for judge sues boss

Hawaii:
With new courthouse, prosecutor offices coming, public defenders still looking for place to go

Vermont:
This Vermont prosecutor is pushing back against the DOJs drug warriors

Georgia:
Public defenders win constitutional challenge to mental incompetency detention

Ohio:
'Stand your ground' bill advances in Ohio House. What's at stake?

Same Topic:
"Stand your ground"bill creates separate battle over self-defense

Tennessee:
Tricky to track crime involving homeless population in Nashville

Florida:
Forgotten in jail for 14 months, 8 on your side helps incompetent woman get treatment

New York:
Study recommends New York legalize recreational marijuana

New Mexico:
Federal public defender wins 2018 Charles Driscoll Memorial Award

Of Interest:
Justices to resolve Circuit split over appeal waivers

The end of civil rights: Across immigration, policing, criminal justice, and voting rights, the attorney general is pushing an agenda that could erase many of the legal gains of modern America's defining movement


6/15/18

National:

'They just took them?' Frantic parents separated from their kids fill courts on the border

New podcast: Jon Rapping wants public defenders to rise up and fight systemic inequity

Texas:

Harris County commissioners postpone vote on whether to fire chief public defender

Harris County public defender keeps job amid questions from Commissioners Court

Harris County defense lawyers rally in support of public defender under investigation

Editorial: Attacks on Harris County's chief public defender misguided

Radack accuses public defender of helping lawyers in bail lawsuit against county

Commentary: Why Travis County needs a public defender's office

Opinion: Public defender's office must be expanded, accepted

Louisiana:

'The system is broken': Class-action status sought for suit challenging state public defense system

Graduation day for Theo Shaw, the pupil jailed in Louisiana's 'Jena 6' case

The hardest lesson on tier 2c (high school in New Orleans jail)

Montana:

Budget shortfall threatens rights of accused

Wisconsin:

Lawyers present petition to Wisconsin Supreme Court; hope to increase rates for public defender appointed private attorneys

County committee supports higher public defender pay

County officials say low public defender wage could cost LaCrosse County millions

Indiana:

Private attorneys in death penalty cases create dilemmas for judges, public defenders

Pennsylvania:

County council to vote on funding for murder case

Plea bargaining's guilt problem

Jury deadlocks in Pa. public defender's age-bias suit

Kansas:

Why were private attorney-client calls recorded? Now, Kansas inmates could go free

Maryland:

Opinion: Setting the record straight on the state's attorney's race (by public defender)

Georgia:

Georgia juries are left in the dark when it comes to punishment

Virginia:

Defense lawyers, prosecutors spar over hospital's agreement to help prosecute cases

Oregon:

Defender accuses DA Forster of 'judge shopping'

Missouri:

St. Louis prosecutor seeks dismissal of complaint her office keeps poor locked up too long

From prisoner to public defender

Minnesota:

46 of 47 arrested in low-leve marijuana stings were black, so Minneapolis police put an end to the operations

Same Topic:
Police halt downtown marijuana stings

California:

Prop 47: Sentencing reform linked to increases in thefts but not other crimes

Parents want answers following son's death after jail release

Public defender's record mitigation clinic hleps clear criminal records

Florida:

Meet Michelle Suskauer, first former public defender to become Florida bar president

Massachusetts:

'It's all I ever wanted to do'. Richard LeBlanc honored.

New York:

Veteran lawyer Kindlon to leave public defender's office

Of Interest:

The precedent of recalling Judge Persky


6/8/18

Report:
Mississippi's No-Counsel Courts (GA State Center for Access to Justice)

National:
Opinion: The recall of the judge who sentenced Brock Turner will end up hurting poor, minority defendants

New Jersey:
NJ municipal courts treat you like an ATM: Is it justice or a shakedown?

Opinion: As a public defender, I've seen how time matters for the wrongly accused

Texas:
Texas counties forced to shoulder public defender costs

New 'zero tolerance' policy on border creates overflow court hearings in South Texas

Louisiana:
DeSoto judge: D.A., public defender financing agreement unconstitutional

Criminal record expungement project has helped nearly 400 East Baton Rouge residents since October

Kansas:
Bombshell in Leavenworth tapings case: 1,300 public defender calls recorded over two years

Same Topic:
Federal public defender's office says thousands of prison phone calls have been recorded in Leavenworth

Michigan:
Monroe County, Michigan lawmakers to discuss unfunded mandates

California:
Criminal justice reformers get a chilly reception in California

Same Topic:
California voters reject prosecutor 'reformers'

SF public defenders' challenge to Republican-appointed judges fails

Utah:
County affirms commitment to justice

Washington:
Whatcom courts face 'a perfect storm,' but help is coming

Missouri:
New public defender begins work (Ozark County)

Greitens pardons 5, commutes sentences of 4 more (includign a public defender)

Of Interest:
Jenkins, Long lead players coalition group pushing bail reform

Should the movement to oust bad prosecutors go after judges next?

New funding fuels boom in public interest work for UGA law students


May

5/31/18

Announcement:
Georgetown professors looking for projects for practicum course on criminal justice technology, policy, and law. Learn more about the course HERE. Interested organizations should fill out this INTAKE FORM.

In Memoriam:
Bill Ochs Jr.: Late public defender loved law, and his life

Indiana:
State's highest court won't hear Johnson Co. public defender case

Louisiana:
Father accused of killing infant girl still in legal limbo, state board blames budget cuts (defense funding)

What to do about capital punishment likely will be on the agenda for a few more years

Michigan:
Oakland County submits 3rd criminal defense plan following 2nd denial

Wisconsin:
State news: Public defender pay, term limits, farm bill

Iowa:
Statute impedes DNA exonerations; Iowa falls behind in freeing innocent convicts

Kentucky:
Public defender's office seeks mistrial after lawyer's 2 a.m. jail visit

California:
Public defender Adachi calls Gascon decision not to charge officers 'mind-boggling'

What I've learned about crime as a public defender

Cooperation with ICE puts Marin County sheriff on the defensive

Ohio:
Attorney driven by belief that even worst offenders deserve fair trials

West Virginia:
New public defender's office program stresses recovery treatment over incarceration

Illinois:
Illinois AG doesn't want Cook Co. defender's case to hit SCOTUS

Pennsylvania:
Larry Kranser: Time to rethink probation and parole

Nebraska:
Death row inmate Carey Dean Moore files to dismiss his public defender

Minnesota:
Public defender files for Nicollet County attorney's seat

Virginia:
New docket aims to divert the mentally ill from jail to treatment

Vermont:
Bennington public defender's office moves to Main Street location

Of Interest:
The $580 co-pay

Prosecutor elections now a front line in justice wars

California court: Defendants get crack at some social media

Public service workers denied loan forgiveness due to wrong repayment plan given second chance


5/23/18

Announcement:
Georgetown professors looking for projects for practicum course on criminal justice technology, policy, and law. Learn more about the course HERE. Interested organizations should fill out this INTAKE FORM.

In Memoriam:
Dovey Johnson Roundtree, defense lawyer and civil rights warrior, dies at 104

National:
More than 7 million people may have lost driver's licenses because of traffic debt

Is the "First Step Act" Real Reform?

Opinion: How should we deal with wrongdoing? And you can't say 'prison'

The perverse incentives of punishment

Gitmo military comissions should end or be reformed, says report shared with Congress in ABA letter

New Mexico:
New Mexico considers workload limits for overworked public defenders

Key DAs oppose public defender proposal

Wisconsin:
Wisconsin Supreme Court raises lawyer pay for court appointments, takes no action on SPD rate

State Supreme Court rules on higher wages for Wisconsin attorneys

Missouri:
Public defender caseload, legal fees stymie justice

Louisiana:
Calling your lawyer's cell from jail? What you say can and will be used against you.

Same Topic:
'Plainly unconstitutional': New Orleans jail records inmates' calls to lawyers

Louisiana prosecutor testifies in favor of jury law rooted in white supremacy (non-unanimous juries)

Bill to keep split jury votes secret becomes law despite push for unanimity in Louisiana

Texas:
State owes counties $2.6 billion for indigent defense costs

Same Topic:
Tom Green County owed $18.5M for indigent defense attorneys

Opinion: Two weeks in jail without seeing an attorney

Mississippi:
Opinion: The Mississippi man tried six times for the same crime

Waiting on justice: Pretrial detention in Mississippi

New York:
Mayor and some prosecutors move to curb marijuana arrests

Public defender talks about contraints, looks forward to state capping caseloads

California:
California Supreme Court to review SF bail decision

San Francisco looks to end certain court fees

Commentary: Attack piece targets Johansson for being a public defender

Opinion: Why 4 public defenders deserve a seat on the SF bench

Vote Bass and Sundberg out, give rest of us a shot (PD hiring—Humboldt County)

New Jersey:
More than a thousand drug cases will be tossed after NJ state police lab scandal

Colorado:
Anti-homeless laws 'criminalize' poverty, says Colorado study

Pennsylvania:
Criminal justice explainer: How bail works in Philadelphia

Ohio:
Justices decide to keep grand jury testimony secret—for now

Nebraska:
Lincoln attorney asks judge to OK video cautioning jurors about implicit bias before trial

Maryland:
Marquise Findley-Smith, May 19 McDaniel grad, looks to give back through work as public defender

Of Interest:
Are federal prosecutors targeting Central Americans who cross the border illegally?


5/17/18

In Memoriam:
Paul J. McManus, 59, judge and longtime public defender

National:
Accused man has the right to insist his lawyer refrain from conceding guilt, Supreme Court rules

Appreciating the full consequences of a misdemeanor

Opinion: Funding woes put indigent defense in peril

DC Circuit orders US to submit information about any attorney-client eavesdropping at Guantanamo

Improving access to justice via technology

Wisconsin:
Wisconsin struggling to find lawyers for public defense cases

A long-haul defense lawyer makes do with Wisconsin's lowest-in-nation pay

California:
Public defender's new pretrial release program slashes SF jail stays: Study

Advocacy groups demand end to cash bail system (Alameda County)

LA County public defender's office underserves immigrant community, ACLU report says

Same Topic:
LA public defender badly needs more immigration lawyers, ACLU says

Clear a conviction and get a job, home or education at "Clean Slate Day" in Antioch

Defendant's suicide triggers calls for mental health, court system changes

A public defender is shaking up the race for San Diego DA

SF public defenders make unusual bid for four Superior Court judges' seats

Same Topic:
Minority challengers wake up normally sleepy superior court races

Louisiana:
New Orleans' money bail bond system puts a price on freedom, report says

New social worker supporting juvenile offenders making 'impactful' change in East Baton Rouge public defender office

Orleans public defender complains about recent antics of embattled Judge Byron C. Williams

Same Topic:
WDSU Investigates: Public defender in New Orleans questions judge's behavior inside courtroom

After complaint about courtroom behavior, Judge Bryon C. Williams drops drug court docket

Michigan:
Kalamazoo County retools plans for public defenders office after grant denied

Isabella to resubmit denied public defense plan

Indiana:
Among public defenders, cases rise but funding lags

County adds 1.5 public defenders

Texas:
Judges dealing with public defender shortage (Ector County)

Montana:
Public defender's office sees huge drop in caseloads

Oregon:
Oregon eyes own changes to split-verdict law: 'Do we really want to be like Louisiana?'

New Roundtable: Lawyers who represent foster kids

Opinion: We all want lawyers representing foster children to be present and accountable

Missouri:
Editorial: While Greitens case gets all the attention, public defenders say other cases suffer

Attorney: Too little cash for transgender killing defense

Tennessee:
State needs new system to track attorney case load

Dykes added as new public defender

New York:
NYPD to release records on seized assets

Judge urged to curb ICE arrests at New York state courts

Illinois:
Group to send lawyers to help incarcerated teens

Electronic monitoring the latest battleground in the fight to reform bond

Warren County accepts bids for public defender contract

Florida:
Bob Dillinger's chief assistant announces election bid for Pinellas-Pasco public defender

Editorial: Disenfranchising state attorney voters is shameful

Connecticut:
Connecticut set to end 'dual arrests' in domestic violence cases

Mississippi:
Did assistant public defender lose job for qualifying to run for Hinds County judge?

Pennsylvania:
Wyoming County hires new public defender

Georgia:
New chief public defender settling in

Maryland:
Natasha M. Dartigue recognized for leadership in law

Washington:
This public defender running for King County prosecutor says the office has a culture problem

Of Interest:
Forensic search of cellphone seized at border requires some form of suspicion, 4th Circuit says


5/10/18

National:
There are more women in prison than ever before

Missouri:
St. Louis circuit attorney's failures in disclosing evidence keep poor defendants locked up, petition claims

Same topic:
St. Louis circuit attorney's office refuses to follow the law, public defender charges

Letter: Missouri public defender needs adequate funding

Attorney General's office must pay $40k for defense team's sleuth in Missouri death-penalty case

Editorial: Public defenders system

Pennsylvania:
Judge's mass contempt trial and 'high-speed sentecing' violated due process, appeals court rules

Luzerne county public defender seeks $100K for death penalty case

Michigan:
Innocent Michiganders are going to prison; they're leading the charge to make it stop

Kalamazoo County retools plans for public defenders office after grant denied

New York:
Crime and justice: State initiatives seek to reform court, incarceration systems

Massachusetts:
Court asked to toss more cases tied to drug lab scandal

Oregon:
Oregon pilot program for foster system lawyers 'wildly successful' but limited

In Oregon, lawyers for foster children don't even have to show up

Public defender running againt long-standing Oregon appeals court judge

Indiana:
Public defender agency could hit caseload limit this year

Letter: Public defender respondes to comment in earlier letter

News briefs: Shelby County

Montana:
State public defender see dip in lower court cases

California:
District attorney, public defender want out of 'unsafe' building in Santa Maria

Judge in Stanford rape case faces recall over sentencing

Same topic:
Judge Aaron Persky breaks silence on recall effort

Prosecutor named Shasta County public defender

Illinois:
Warren County accepts bids for public defender contract

Connecticut:
Murder conviction of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel is tossed because of ineffective assistance

Of Interest:
In fight against violent crime, Justice Department targets low-level gun offenders


5/4/18

Reports:
Assessment of the Texas Office of Capital and Forensic Writs

National:
American's justice system has the wrong goals

How the Supreme Court could rewrite the rules for DNA searches

Missouri:
Missouri public defenders are overloaded with hundreds of cases while defendants wait in jail

Rights denied: How Mississippi's public defender system fails clients

Public defender withdraws as attorney in two Missouri capital murder cases

Louisiana:
Bill reroutes support for public defenders

Same Topic:
Public defender board reaches fund distribution compromise

DeSoto judge to decide if DA, public defender agreement is unconstitutional

New York:
ICE Breakers: Public defenders are standing up for their undocumented clients in more ways than one

County offices work on how to implement state criminal justice reform initiatives

Texas:
Even after system overhaul, Texas defense attorneys are overwhelmed

Idaho:
Idaho counties poised to receive over $4.4 million in indigent defense grants

California:
LA Public defenders say leader must have criminal defense experience

San Diego district attorney's race pits public defender against county's interim prosecutor

South Carolina:
Public defender asking county for more lawyers

Massachusetts:
A voice for the indigent: Bar advocates play crucial role

Michigan:
Public defenders in Wayne County underfunded and overworked

Pennsylvania:
Meek Mill, Gov. Wolf urge criminal justice reforms

Wisconsin:
Public defenders group backs higher lawyer fees

Illinois:
Siegel calls it quits as Warren County public defender

Would-be judge facing trial for ruling in traffic cases is found dead

New York:
Off-hour arraignment locations opens in Ontario county

Mississippi:
Law will help end debtors' prisons in Mississippi. Much more work needs to be done.

New Mexico:
Specialty court underuse questioned

Utah:
Utah department of corrections gives 74 cases a second look after mishandled evidence prompts a records request review

From convict to public defender: How one BYU grad turned his life around

Florida:
Miami-Dade will close sex offender camp by May 6, threatens jail time for stragglers

Iowa:
House bill would end pretrial risk assessments for Iowa defendants

Indiana:
Landis, long time head of the public defender council, to retire in July

Tennessee:
Victoria Smith joins office the public defender

Of Interest:
Rewriting the story of civil rights

Illegal immigration does not increase violent crime, 4 studies show

U.S. transfers first Guantanamo detainee under Trump, who vowed to fill it

A public defender's polyphonic novel of football and social justice

Too 'woke' for the jury box?

How prosecutor reform is shaking up small DA races

Why do we still imprison youth?


April

4/26/18

Announcements:
NACDL is seeking nominations for its 2018 Champion of Public Defense award, which recognizes an individual or group for exceptional efforts in making positive changes to a local, county, state or federal public defense system through legislation, litigation or other strategies. Both lawyers and non-lawyers are eligible for this award. Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2018.

In Memoriam:
Thomas Ullmann remembered as a passionate family man and idealistic public defender

5th Circuit chief public defender dies at 68

Reports:
Vera Institute: In Our Backyards (Mass Incarceration)

National:
With backing of top funders, this group is taking the criminal justice system to court

60: The great lie at the heart of the criminal justice system

The power of prosecutors

Idaho:
County mulls changes to indigent defense: Statewide lawsuit prompts discussion

Mississippi:
Mississippi defendants spend months in jail awaiting trial

Same Topic:
Survey: Poor Mississippi inmates wait long for trial

Oxford's retiring public defender, Richard C. Davis, believes everyone deserves a second change

Pennsylvania:
Justice reforms take hold, the inmate population plummets, and Philadelphia closes a notorious jail

A judge off track: McDaniel overreaches on rulings on sex offenders

California:
Police accountability bill passes key Senate committee

County appoints longtime deputy as new public defender, following period of turmoil at office

Same Topic:
Marek Reavis appointed as Humboldt County public defender

Novato man ascends from drug court to law school

Missouri:
Traffic enforcement, court collections continue to drop in post-Ferguson era

Nebraska:
Omaha police draw ire of public defender for yearslong delays in filing homicide reports

Louisiana:
Louisiana legislature considers cut to nonprofit legal aid to fund public defenders

Florida:
A look at what Mariotti's and other murder cases cost defense teams

Editorial: Florida's death penalty fading away on its own

Judge who bullied woman in wheelchair—stirring outrage—quits, effective now

Same Topic:
Florida judge berates woman in wheelchair who ides days later

Father says jail guards have 'permission to abuse children'

Washington:
County looks to retool indigent defense service: In-house public defender office, pay increases proposed

Wisconsin:
Public defender's legal career comes full circle

New York:
More staffing, additional space needed to follow new indigent defense guidelines

Texas:
Travis County overhauled legal representation for the poor, but lawyers are still overwhelmed

Lawyers seek to reform 'ethical minefield' of public defender's office controlled by Texas prison system

Michigan:
The devolution of the right to counsel in Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit)

Isabella public defense reform approve hinges on security costs

Virginia:
Richmond prosecutors to stop seeking cash bonds for criminal defendants

Of Interest:
A lynching memorial is opening. The Country has never seen anything like it.

Electronic monitors: How companies dream of locking us in our homes

Statement by Oregon State Bar and specialty groups draw fire

Inmate, 83, is executed in death of federal appeals judge


4/20/18:

Announcements:
NACDL is seeking nominations for its 2018 Champion of Public Defense award, which recognizes an individual or group for exceptional efforts in making positive changes to a local, county, state or federal public defense system through legislation, litigation or other strategies. Both lawyers and non-lawyers are eligible for this award. Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2018.

In Memoriam:
Crusading public defender Tom Ullmann dies while hiking

Doug Strickler, Columbia lawyer and defender of the Constitution, dies at 68

National:

Column: Fees and fines threaten judicial independence

Yale law professor wins Pulitzer Prize for book on mass incarceration

Bring a public defender or going out alone: What should you do?

Wisconsin:

Justice delayed for those who can least afford it?

Same topic:
Wisconsin struggling to find enough attorneys

State struggles to find attorneys willing to take public defender cases

Louisiana:
A Louisiana bill would give public defender more funding. Public defenders aren't happy. Here's why

Louisiana takes aim at Jim Crow-era jury law

Massachusetts:
Gov. Baker signs sweeping criminal justice overhaul bill

Alabama:
DOJ agreement mandates pretrial justice improvements for Birmingham

Florida:
Public defender foils prosecutor's murder charge in drug overdose

Texas:
Study finds serious shortcomings in Travis County indigent defense

New York:
Public defender lauds Cuomo giving parolees right to vote

Public defender's caseload spikes (Monroe County)

Public defender's office proposes two new positions to meet state guidelines (St. Lawrence County)

Washington:
In Washington state, this country is making big strides toward reforming its juvenile justice system

Pennsylvania:
A look back: 50 years ago—Lackawanna County to establish public defenders office

Rhode Island:
RI AG's office balks at bill to tighten rules on disclosure of evidence

Idaho:
Grant money sought for public defender; request lists $170L for Lankford case

Montana:
State-Tribal relations commission discusses CSKT tribal defender's reentry program

Nebraska:
County board begins work on next budget (Saunders County)

Of Interest:
7 inmates dead, 17 injured in South Carolina prison riot

Framed for murder by his own DNA

Is there such a thing as a slam dunk? The Corey Williams case comes close.

Philadelphia DA wants to dismantle mass incarceration from the inside out

Marijuana legalization can't fix mass incarceration


4/13/18

Announcements:
Last chance to register for the public defense summit!! The 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement will be held in Chicago on Friday, April 20th. Online registration CLOSES at 5pm ET today!

NACDL is seeking nominations for its 2018 Champion of Public Defense award, which recognizes an individual or group for exceptional efforts in making positive changes to a local, county, state or federal public defense system through legislation, litigation or other strategies. Both lawyers and non-lawyers are eligible for this award. Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2018.

National:
Jobs are the ultimate criminal justice reform

Some US cities, states, start efforts to prevent deportations

New poll finds majority favor LWOP over death penalty

Prominent academics call for more science in forensic science

Focus of ABA Day 2018 will be on LSC funding and preserving student loan forgiveness program

Montana:
Judge points out problems with justice system funding

Louisiana:
1,300 people held for 4 years in Louisiana jails without a trial, sheriffs say

Seven years behind bars for two joints—and now he's free

Legal showdown in DeSoto could have statewide ramifications

What ails Baton Rouge's bail system? Slain Zachary officer's slaying a tragic example

Pennsylvania:
Gov. Wolf unveils new criminal justice reform measures

California:
SF deputy public defender loses challenge of contempt order

LA's new public defender MUST have "significant criminal defense experience" more than 40 high profile attorneys tell LA County supes

Humboldt county set to OK $49K to recruit public defender

Contrasting styles, messages give voters clear choice in DA race

SFPD officer discloses allegations of racial discrimination from other officers

Shasta County public defender Jeff Gorder makes retirement plans public

New York:
Lawyers walk out to protest ICE, and Court objects

Same Topic:
Public defenders state walkouts to protest ICE courthouse arrests

After a 90-year fight to reform NY's courts… what's changed?

Dutchess public defender to get new space, after lengthy debate over bond

Furno, from county public defender's office, retires

Texas:
County targets indigent defense funding inequity, other priorities for state legislature

Galveston County hit with bail lawsuit similar to Harris County case

Exonerated man on Texas request for faster death penalty appeals: "I would have been executed"

The number of Texas kids behind bars is suddenly at its lowest point in decades

South Carolina:
Greenwood public defender makes case for funding increase

Inmates older than 60 could get parole under new plan to ease prison crowding

Wisconsin:
In Wisconsin, authorities now have to convict you of a crime before they can take your cash

Illinois:
Warren County SA seeks to ease burden on public defenders

Writing sex offender laws based on fake recidivism numbers is rational, court says

Massachusetts:
Middlesex DA backs bid to halt immigration courthouse arrests

Tennessee:
Opinion: New bill derails juvenile justice reform

Three African-American women file suits versus Shelby County public defender's office

Suit: Shelby County public defender's office give 'preferential treatment' to white female employee

Florida:
Orange-Osceola public defenders learn about fentanyl, counterfeit pills

Lawyer says Parkland shooting suspect needs public defender

Idaho:
PDC Coordinator and Clerk Bird meet with Board to discuss public defender grant application

Georgia:
Commission Meeting (Liberty County)

Virginia:
Reports: Thousands of 'low risk' offenders not being diverted from prison

Attorney returns to Richmond after a year helping Kenyans establish public defender system

Colorado:
Pueblo defense attorney Randy Jorgensen retiring after 48 years

Of Interest:
Six states where felons can't get food stamps

ABA condemns suspension of Justice Department's legal orientation program for immigrants

Erica Ash on her 'In Contempt' role and tackling the flawed legal system

Is 'In Contempt' a true story? The creator knows her subject matter inside and out

Onetime high school dropout and single mom celebrates her law school graduation in viral photo


4/6/18

Announcements:
Last chance to register for the public defense summit! The 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement will be held in Chicago on Friday, April 20th. Space is LIMITED. Register TODAY!

NACDL is seeking nominations for its 2018 Champion of Public Defense award, which recognizes an individual or group for exceptional efforts in making positive changes to a local, county, state or federal public defense system through legislation, litigation or other strategies. Both lawyers and non-lawyers are eligible for this award. Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2018.

Reports:
Indiana Law Review: Symposium Issue on the Right to Counsel

National:
His clients weren't complaining. But the Judge said this lawyer worked too hard.

Public defenders from across the country came to Denver to talk about dealing with mental health in the criminal justice system

Missouri:
Column: Bostic serves as cautionary tale about juvenile justice system

Overland Park attorney volunteers to defend woman in Clinton police shooting case (because of PD case overload)

Editorial: Improved justice for the poor as St. Louis County public defenders get help from private attorneys

Washington:
Frustrated and broke, Washington counties consider suing state

New Jersey:
Federal judge blasts township court for jailing man who couldn't pay littering fine

Mississippi:
Editorial: Statewide public defenders needed

Idaho:
Public defense attorney workload standard to come before Idaho legislature

A twin fall man says his public defender failed him. Now he hopes reforms will help others like him

Wisconsin:
Public defender pay at issue

Public defender resolution passed in Burnett County

Column: Legal defense also requires fiscal support

Michigan:
Proposed indigent defense cuts in 2019 state budget opposed

State denies Oakland County's $8.5 million criminal defense plan for a second time

Gratiot gets public defense plan approval

Pennsylvania:
Top public defender says 'automatic detainers' are illegal, swelling Philly jail population

ICE arrests at Montgomery County court spark fears of chilling effect on crime victims, witnesses

New York:
City's public defenders urge lawmakers to pass 'critical' criminal justice reforms

Merure elected bar association president (Washington County)

After 29 years serving Broome County, public defender Jay Wilber retires

Texas:
'Express lane to death': Texas seeks approval to speed up death penalty appeals, execute more quickly

Hawaii:
How 'blind faith' led to Hawaii's biggest police corruption scandal

California:
Alameda County public defender rips proposed jury service change

Letter: An elected public defender defends elected public defenders

Letter: L.A. County supervisors owe us an explanation of their perplexing public defender appointment

Private criminal defenders weigh in on changes to justice system

California high court upholds taking DNA from arson suspect

After 27 years, one of the region's most well known and colorful public defense attorneys to retire (San Diego)

(PD) Candidate will try to unseat Alameda County judge, alleges misconduct

Virginia:
He'd already pleaded guilty to a felony. Then his lawyer discovered it wasn't a crime.

Minnesota:
Public defenders look to county for further funding

Public defender inspired to work with youth

Montana:
Formerly charged in killing, woman sues Great Falls police, public defender's office for not investigating self-defense claim

Louisiana:
Louisiana efforts to free wrongfully convicted may lose money under House bill

Louisiana voters might get a say in changing major, decades-old law: Tiling the scales (split verdict law)

Former East Baton Rouge assistant public defender replaces 19th JDC commissioner who resigned

New Mexico:
Prosecutors say dismissed public defenders in accused cop killer case still helping

Public defender hires man convicted in courthouse scam

Maryland:
Editorial: Addressing the criticisms of the cash bail system

Connecticut:
Beaten inmate sues state for keeping half of legal award

Georgia:
A prosecutor and a public defender challenge two Athens judges

Florida:
Spring Hill attorney (former PD) runs for State Legislature

Of Interest:
Defending the dream: Legal professionals reflect on civil rights on 50th anniversary of MLK assassination

Supreme Court sends signal that police 'can shoot first and think later,' Sotomayor dissent says

For defenders and judges, comfort dogs in court do opposite

Justice Department imposes quotas on immigration judges, provoking independence concerns

Israel's public defense: No new detainees until prison overcrowding ends


March

3/23/18

ABA Announcements:
Are you going to the public defense summit? The 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement will be held in Chicago on Friday, April 20th. Space is LIMITED. Register TODAY!

Reports:
6th Amend Center: The Right to Counsel in Mississippi: Evaluation of Adult Felony Trial Level Indignet Defense Services

NLADA: Defender Data Exchange: Boosting Defenders' Research and Data Capacity

National:
U.S. Supreme Court revives Texas death row inmate's funding claim

The DAs who want to set the guilty free

Localizing data to drive criminal justice reform

Opinion: Missing: Criminal justice data

Missouri:
Judge rules St. Louis county public defenders' caseloads too high, orders changes

Same Topic:
Missouri judge finds public defenders' caseload too high

Public defender crisis leaves woman with no lawyer, jailed in police officer's death

Mississippi:
Report: Low pay and fear of judges handcuff public defenders

Same Topic:
Indigent defendants denied counsel, speedy trial in 10 counties

Task force finds public defenders don't have sufficient resources

Indigent defendants denied effective counsel, report says

Mississippi needs an organized public defense system, says Supreme Court Justice

Tennessee:
Nashville's public defender says office needs more funds—but from the State, not metro

South Carolina:
Need a public defender? Getting one might become more difficult in South Carolina

California:
Editorial: Why L.A. doesn't need an elected public defender

Changing times for Marin County public defenders

Column: Public defenders assure freedom and fairness

Guest Opinion: Public Defender's guarantee equal access to justice

County observes 'Public Defense Day,' seeks new top PD

Fighting deportation without a lawyer

Solano celebrates National Public Defense Week

Marek Reavis appointed Humboldt County interim public defender

Yolo County DA and public defender will work to clear pot convictions

Same Topic:
My View: Did Reisig find election-year religion on Prop 64?

Maryland:
Public defender's office finds Maryland courts should expand pretrial options

Indiana:
Felony caseload pushes public defender board to brink (Cass)

County may add public defender (Fayette)

Commentary: Public defenders help protect liberty

North Dakota:
Editorial: Public defenders deserve respect, resources

Massachusetts:
Defense lawyers ask court to toss 11,000 more cases in Amherst drug lab scandal

Florida:
Florida could start a criminal-justice data revolution

Montana:
New director of Montana's public defender office will work to implement reforms

Delaware:
Opinion: Delaware's public defenders fight for our clients' rights, but we can do more

Opinion: AG Denn: Prosecutors care deeply about justice, just like public defenders

Idaho:
Child sex abuse cases prove complicated for public defenders

New York:
Public defenders want ICE out of New York's courthouses

Wayne County board of supervisors honor retiring public defender James Kernan

Judge Cook slams former public defender (Yates)

Virginia:
Column: Every person, no matter how poor, has a right to legal representation

West Virginia:
Mingo staff celebrate 'National Public Defender Day'

Georgia:
Henley to retire as chief public defender after 14 years

Of Interest:
Prosecutors can seek death penalty for drug kingpins, Sessions says in directive

Do conviction integrity units work?

How to survive death row

To find suspects, police quietly turn to Google


3/15/18

ABA Announcements:
Are you going to the public defense summit? The 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement will be held in Chicago on Friday, April 20th.  Space is LIMITED.  Register TODAY!

Reports:
NLADA and APA: Beyond the Adversarial System: Achieving the Challenge

NLADA: National Indicators of Quality Indigent Defense

National:
ABA expresses concern about Sessions' "apparent intent" to close Access to Justice office

Op-Ed: Public defenders no longer the last legal resort

False confessions, mistaken witnesses, corrupt investigators: Why 139 innocent people went to jail

Same Topic:
John Grisham: Eight reasons for America's shameful number of wrongful convictions

Zen and the art of indigent defense

Missouri:
Privatization of public defenders could help dix the underfunded system

Rhode Island:
RI lawmakers seek 'broad and early' disclosures before trials

Maryland:
Under new agreement, Baltimore police officers must disclose misconduct allegations to prosecutors

Pennsylvania:
Elliot's Testimony—Elliot Howsie discusses his road to chief public defender, Allegheny County

Georgia:
Another money bail lawsuit filed in Georgia

Same Topic:
No money to make bail or pay for a lawyer? Too bad, say officials in Glynn County, Georgia

ACLU sues Glynn County for jailing the poor over minor offenses

Idaho:
2C Public defender's office meets compliance standards

Nebraska:
Nebraska county delays jail release after bond is paid

Utah:
County OKs public defender contract (Carbon County)

Florida:
Lawmakers pass criminal reforms aimed at racial injustice

Same Topic:
Bill will make Florida most transparent state in nation (data collection bill)

New York:
Dutchess County DA won't appeal fair bail ruling

Ohio:
Attorneys chafe at jail wait time, warden says communication key

Of Interest:
'For the people' is new courtroom drama in big-stakes arena


3/9/18

ABA Announcements:
Are you going to the public defense summit? The 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement will be held in Chicago on Friday, April 20th. Space is LIMITED. Register TODAY!

National:
Now we know why defense attorneys quit the USS Cole case. They found a microphone.

Yes, lots of people go to jail because they can't pay a fine

America's broken cash bail system is criminal justice gone terribly wrong

Opinion: A 'quiet' closing with resounding impacts on equal justice

Idaho:
Report: Idaho Public Defender Workload Report

Bill to fund public defense passes house

Alaska:
Lawmakers add funding for public defenders

Same Topic:
Alaska House proposal would add cash to public defenders' budget to stave off crisis

Public testimony backs stable or increased state budget

Funding boost called for Alaska public defenders agency

Facing severe backlog of long-delayed criminal cases, Alaska attorneys try a new strategy

Guam:
Only 1 agency shows at GovGuam reorganization bill hearing (Public Defender under threat of dissolution)

Missouri:
Editorial: Low funding and large caseloads put Missouri's public defenders at sharp disadvantage

Letter: Law firms can help lighten load of public defenders

Massachusetts:
Public defenders make union push

Attorneys warn that trooper scandal could lead to convictions being tossed

Florida:
In court, majority seek public defenders regardless of income

Michigan:
Oakland County amends $8.5M criminal defense compliance plan following state denial

After defense plan rejected, county submits second (Branch County)

Royal Oak opposes shifting funding for poor defendants from state to cities

Virginia:
Should lawyers share evidence before criminal trials? Va. Supreme Court considers changes to discovery rules

Texas:
Judge's racially charged explanation for denying no-cost bail leads to call for him to resign

Letter: Judge McSpadden speaks loud and clear on Black Lives Matter

Illinois:
Judge OKs public defender payment

Utah:
Emery County awards public defender contract

New York:
New director looking to implement changes in county's public defender's office (Livingston County)

Nebraska:
Paid bond? In Lancaster County you still may not get out for three days

Maryland:
Maryland Judiciary defends decision to remove police officers' names from public online court database

Opinion: William M. Davis (public defender): Police chief's views on the Talley acquittal are simply wrong

South Carolina:
$15 in drugs sent him to prison for life, but Charleston man now has chance at freedom

Oregon:
Chloe Eudaly seeks Portland legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation

Washington:
Attorney (PD) dubbed 'evil Harry Potter' by Lindquist (DA) staffers calls text messages 'disappointing'

Georgia:
County's state public defender charged with simple assault

Of Interest:
Convicted of a drug crime, registered with sex offenders

Old, sick and dying in shackles


3/2/18:

ABA Announcements:
Are you going to the public defense summit? Registration is now open! The 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement will be held in Chicago on April 20th—we hope you can join us!

Have you filled out the Public Service Attorney Salary Survey? Conducted by NALP, the survey is a key way to understand public service lawyer salaries across the country. Please take a moment to fill it out today.

Missouri:
Missouri lawmakers weigh major changes to indigent defense

Missouri's Texas County to start using private lawyers for criminal cases

South Dakota:
Minehaha County attorneys struggle with homicide caseload

Same Topic:
As murder cases mount, county attorneys struggle to keep up

Alaska:
Legal defenders for Alaska's poor say they may have to start refusing cases

New York:
Defense lawyers clash with prosecutors at city council hearing (New York City)

Court Watch NYC is the latest local group monitoring the criminal justice system as it happens.

Public Defender calls for bail reform (Chautauqua County)

Louisiana:
Public defender system challenged in Louisiana court

Indiana:
WBOI Presents: Fixing the public defender system

Texas:
Harris County judges told hearing magistrates to deny no-cost bail

LaHood said he was instrumental in creating a public defender's office. He wasn't.

Maryland:
Public defender Todd Oppenheim on how deeper issues arise from the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force trial

Recorded jailhouse call surprises defense in case of murdered Md. teacher

Pennsylvania:
New Philadelphia bail policy opens door for pretrial inmates

Ohio:
Court-appointed attorneys help those in need in Lorain County

New Mexico:
Judge removes public defenders from officer's death case

California:
Lawmakers move to allocate $7M for legal defense for immigrants

Same Topic:
SF Mayor now supports legal fund for immigrants facing deportation

Santa Clara County activists celebrate bail reform ruling

Interim public defender Kaleb Cockrum, 43, appointed Humboldt County judgeship

Kentucky:
Death penalty trial delayed after public defender's office accused of concealing bullet casings for six years

Florida:
This is why accused Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz might lose his public defender

Paying for justice: Public defenders and prosecutors flee for better salaries

Illinois:
'Inside hacking' fears: Madison County public defender voices concerns

Georgia:
Williams retiring after 15 years as county's first public defender


February

2/23/18

ABA Announcements:
Are you going to the public defense summit? Registration is now open!

The 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement will be held in Chicago on April 20th—we hope you can join us!

Report:
A Pound of Flesh: The Criminalization of Private Debt—American Civil Liberties Union

Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the Justice System—National Legal Aid & Defender Association

National:
Guilty plea doesn't prohibit constitutional challenge to convictions, Supreme Court rules

At Guantanamo, are even the judges giving up?

Can criminal justice reform happen this year?

Jeff Sessions: Chuck Grassley's sentencing reform bill is a 'grave error'

Nation's criminal defense bar endorses public defender office leadership standards

Justice Department announces plans to advance forensic science

Missouri:
Public defenders see low funding, large caseloads

Missouri public defender's system asks for funding

Boone County public defender waiting list approaches 400

Rural Missouri county going to privatized public defenders

Same Topic:
Some Missouri lawmakers want to privatize the public defender system. For one county, it starts March 1

Texas County, MO shifting to privatized public defenders

Mississippi:
Public defender office now in Pearl River County

California:
On call: Public defenders adjust to requirements of SB 395

S.F. disrupts California's bail system

Indiana:
Deputy prosecutor suspended after mocking defense attorney

Number of kids in child welfare system strains public defenders

Utah:
Utah minority offenders now even more likely to get prison sentences

Facing deadline, commission negotiates for public defender

Plan to repeal the death penalty in Utah passes first vote

Idaho:
Public Defense Commission: Idaho Workload Study: The Dangers of Misinterpretation and Draft Reports

Denied a Defense: My adventures in weed court, Part 3

Legislators briefed on weaknesses in Idaho child protection cases

Florida:
Florida shooting suspect may lose public defender after reports of $800K inheritance

School shooter will offer to plead guilty to avoid death penalty

'A game-changer': Florida House passes criminal justice reform bill

Pensacola pastor lobbies Tallahassee for juvenile justice reform

Volusia-Flagler public defender James Purdy to retire

New Mexico:
No. 2 public defender accused of sexual harassment

Deputy public defender denies sexual harassment accusations

Louisiana:
Calcasieu Parish DA shares revenue from diverted traffic tickets with public defender

Georgia:
Public defender donation

Michigan:
Isabella County public defense plan heads back to state

New York:
Public defender, other appointments, proposed (Cattaraugus County)

Minnesota:
Dayton taps 3rd District's chief public defender as judge

Virginia:
Juval Scott named federal public defender for Western District of Virginia

Alaska:
Sitka lawyer appointed as judge (public defender)

New Jersey:
Former public defender appointed judge in Hillsborough

Of Interest:
'Our Minds Are Still Free:' Former prisoners find strength through poetry


2/15/18

ABA Announcements:
Are you going to the public defense summit? Registration is now open! The 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement will be held in Chicago on April 20th—we hope you can join us!

National:
Military judge wants civilian attorneys arrested for quitting USS Cole case

Federal public defense: The mysterious case of a very public inquiry and a so far very private report

Texas:
Fifth Circuit affirms unconstitutionality of Harris County bail system

Same Topic:
Appeals court largely upholds ruling against Harris County bail practices, reins back orders

Oregon:
Bailing on the justice system: System of public defense is inadequate, attorneys say

California:
LA County's public defenders protest in Grand Park, call for new leader to represent them

Same Topic:
More than 150 deputy public defenders protest appointment of chief they believe is unqualified

Is the new public defender ending or stoking office turmoil?

Letter: The problem isn't L.A. County public defenders, it's how the Board of Supervisors treats them

"Crisis" at public defender's office delays justice, costs taxpayers (Fresno)

Public defenders now available to youths 24 hours a day

Idaho:
Idaho public defenders get just 4 hours a case

Same Topic:
Idaho public defenders need 40 hours for some cases. They often only get 4.

Editorial: Our View: Idaho's public defense system continues to let people down

Michigan:
Snyder asked for $63.1M for public defenders, $25 million less than counties say they need

New Jersey:
Gov. Murphy convenes panel to explore racial and ethnic disparities in N.J.'s criminal justice system

Indiana:
Editorial: Crisis mentality: Indigent defense issues get needed attention

Missouri:
Editorial: Pagedale gets well-deserved rebuke for rampant nuisance ordinances

Mississippi:
Public defenders struggle to push cases through system

Washington:
Jailed for months, suspect awaits room at mental hospital

Kentucky:
Column: Ameer Mabjish: Criminal justice reforms can lead us out of opioid epidemic; we can't arrest our way out

New York:
Bronx public defenders protest over arrests of immigrants at courthouses

Yates County has a new public defender

Alaska:
Alaska prosecutors ask for change as caseloads soar

Of Interest:
Trump's budget plan would once again eliminate funding for the Legal Services Corp.

President Trump's budget would end loan forgiveness program for public servants


2/8/18

ABA Announcements:
Join us for the PUBLIC DEFENSE SUMMIT! Registration is NOW OPEN for the 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement—Chicago on April 20th! REGISTER NOW!

National:
Commentary: Why black history matters to public defenders

Thick skin: Defense lawyers explain how they handle attacks on their work

New York:
Cuomo proposes $50.7 million to counties toward indigent defense in year one of plan

Rejected grant was missed opportunity for Monroe County

Franklin County again seeking defense attorney to handle cases when public defender's office has conflicts

Michigan:
The Latest: Snyder seeks $46M to improve indigent defense

Picking up the tab for public defenders, Berrien, other counties, asked to revise reimbursement requests

California:
The LA County supervisor's pick for interim head of the public defender's office faces criticism

Commentary: County Board of Supervisors fumbles public defender appointment

Public defender urges SF to end gang injunctions against minorities

SF ordinance targets fees faced by poor defendants

A political YOLO: Public defender in Yolo County runs for district attorney depsite the odds

Riverside County public safety agencies grappling with deficits

Hundreds of Sonoma County inmates could be freed without bail after California court ruling

He stole $5 and a bottle of cologne. His bail was set at $350,000

Four SF public defender's lawyers to run against GOP-appointed judges

Kentucky:
Public defenders seek support for Gov. Bevin's funding proposal

Delaware:
Public defenders office seeks more money for Vaughn riot and other complex cases

Missouri:
Pagedale to repeal ordinances, dismiss tickets as part of class action settlement

After Greene County sheriff sued over jail, legislator wants law changed

Utah:
Commentary: Indigent defense is improving in Utah

Nebraska:
Fewer felony cases in 2017 for public defender (Gage County)

Oregon:
Closing the revolving door

Pennsylvania:
Are public defenders good enough? Cumberland County family has its doubts

Florida:
Judge pulled from criminal cases after complaint about fairness

Arizona:
Tuscon grand jurors rebel against drug prosecutions

Maricopa County 'warns' one public defender, drops another after sexual-harassment claims

Ohio:
Bipartisan support bodes well for Ohio bail reform

Tennessee:
Nashville judges agree to push forward with plan to release more inmates without bail


2/1/18

ABA Announcements:
Join us for the PUBLIC DEFENSE SUMMIT! Registration is NOW OPEN for the 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement—Chicago on April 20th! REGISTER NOW!

National:
Justice Department office to make legal aid more accessible is quietly closed

Military judge to lone USS Cole lawyer: 'Engage in self-help' to learn capital defense

Rep. John Lewis and leaders gather to talk criminal justice reform

Sotomayor renews call for experienced criminal defense advocates

Montana:
Facing cuts, public defender's office freezes salaries, reduces contract payments

Program helping criminal defendants find housing, get medical care, arrange rides expands in Montana

Social workers bring added to public defender offices

Florida:

Florida death penalty cases cause strains for legal system

Public defender says his office is shortchanged on fee collections

California:
Racial disparities drop in criminal justice system after Prop. 47, study says

Appeals court decision could change how bail is handled all over the state

Public defender's calendar says they are, too, well-dressed

Idaho:
Public defense commission says it's handing out grants; some counties say they're not enough…

New York:
Public defenders seek more funding for services

Opinion: Monroe County made a mistake, but it's an understandable one

Indiana:
Public defender task force announces listening tour

Death penalty case ruling challenge

Ohio:
A day in the life of a Hamilton County public defender

Missouri:
Public defender says Greene County jail is illegally housing some inmates

New Mexico:
Hundreds of New Mexico inmates held past parole date

Washington:
'Leveling of the playing field': Families of those killed by police to get attorneys in King County inquests

Wisconsin:
Opinion: Increasing public defender pay crucial in defense of Constitution: When public defenders aren't paid sufficiently, rural populations suffer

Utah:
Lawsuit: Appellate attorney says his free speech rights were violated after he was fired for speaking out about funding issues in Utah death penalty case

Commentary: Utah judges need a system to assess pre-trial risks

Vermont:
New legislation would guarantee a public defender undocumented workers in VT

Michigan:
Guest column: Public defender's office is an expensive solution to a non-problem

New standards coming for courts

Alaska:
After reforming criminal justice, Alaska has second thoughts

Alabama:
Supreme Court stays execution of Alabama man in judicial override case

New Jersey:
Margate appoints professionals for 2018

Nebraska:
Lancaster County public defender to run for second term

Virginia:
Regional Chamber's annual greater goods awards: public defender Coyne named citizen of the year

Texas:
Public defender board will likely scale back meetings (Correction: This story was included in last News under the incorrect state).

Of Interest:
U.S. Court: No court-appointed lawyer for boy facing deportation

Poll: 3.4 of Americans support criminal justice reform

AI in the court: When algorithms rule on jail time


January

1/25/18

ABA Announcements:
Registration is NOW OPEN for the 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement! Join us in Chicago on April 20th! REGISTER NOW!

ABA Exemplary Defense Project—Does your public defense office or program have an innovative project that you think other defenders should consider replicating? The ABA wants to know about more about it. Please NOMINATE a program soon—deadline is January 31st!

In Memoriam:
'He had a tough job': Longtime public defender Gene Hood dies in Beaufort

Idaho:
Court approves class-action status for ACLU challenge of Idaho's pubic defense system

Idaho's public defender system under scrutiny in proposed class action

New Mexico:
Public defenders plead for relief, claim continuing caseload crisis

Lincoln County a 'microcosm' of justice issues

Santa Fe public defender claims retaliation for compalints

Texas:
Federal judge orders Harris County judges to produce any evidence missing in bail case

Harris County bail system offers little help to defendants who most need it, cases reveal

California:
Supes call for increased funding for immigrant legal defense in response to threat of ice raids

L.A. County supervisors pick a temporary head of the public defender's office amid criticism

Same Topic:
Nichole Tinkham expected to be named interim county public defender

ACLU to honor public defender's office with 'Perserverance' Award

Washington:
King County's prosecuting attorney: 'We don't need the death penalty.'

Utah:
County mulls public defender contract; criminal caseload draws constitutional concerns

New York:
Monroe County turns down $2.6 million grant

Same Topic:
Commentary: Monroe County erred in turning down grant

Legal Aid's Luongo set to take over as head of defender organization group

Public defender gets to work with heavy case load in Steuben County

Same Topic:
Sauro outlines public defense mission

Oregon:
Nonunanimous jury law may go to voters

Florida:
Lightning coach (and former public defender) Jon Cooper might be the most interesting man in hockey

Tennessee:
Public defender board will likely scale back meetings

Georgia:
Public defender makes quilts for the homeless

Of Interest:
Death penalty documentary includes troubling Ohio execution

Laypersons rival popular software in ability to predict recidivism, study says

Quiet wires: Alaska illegally fails to report its wiretaps to public

Baltimore police officer indicted on charges of misconduct, fabricating evidence


1/19/18

ABA Announcements:
Registration is NOW OPEN for the 13th Annual ABA Summit on Indigent Defense Improvement! Join us in Chicago on April 20th! REGISTER NOW!

ABA Exemplary Defense Project—Does your public defense office or program have an innovative project that you think other defenders should consider replicating? The ABA wants to know about more about it. Please NOMINATE a program soon—deadline is January 31st!

National:
Column: How to make an innocent client plead guilty

Louisiana lawyer who felt 'ethical duty' to save client's life over honoring his wishes at center of Supreme Court case

When being a good lawyer means dressing your clients

Wyoming:
Public defender: 4,191 poor could go without representation

Same Topic:
Wyoming public defender asks for more staff

Public defender: Attorneys are overworked, nearing "ethical and constitutional crisis"

Idaho:
Court approves class-action status for ACLU challenge of Idaho's public defense system

Lawsuit looks to change Idaho public defense practices

County stays in capital crimes defense fund

Wisconsin:
Where the lawyers aren't: Attorney shortage in rural Wisconsin compounds opioid crisis

Wisconsin lawyers seek to increase public defender pay

Same Topic:
Onalaska Rep. Doyle supports public defender getting raise; hopes to jump from $40 to $100 per hour

Maryland:
Public defender: Juvenile gun possession should not be adult charge

Prosecutor, public defender back bail-reform rule: Recent data prompts prosecutor's change of heart

Same Topic:
Since bail reform, Maryland holding fewer people who can't afford bond, Assembly panel told

Georgia:
Bail was $500, money he didn't have. Atlanta faces calls for change.

Texas:
Judge forced by court to explain why she won't appoint a public defender. Her answer could affect thousands of Texas cases.

Massachusetts:
And justice for none: Inside biggest law enforcement scandal in Massachusetts history

Some see DA's bail reform aiding public safety

New Mexico:
NM's skeletal criminal justice system needs a cash infusion

Kentucky:
New state police cars, rifles—and more ways Bevin's budget boosts public safety (including public advocates)

Virginia:
Statewide public defender offices proposed

Alaska:
State admits recording jail conversations between defense lawyers and clients

Same Topic:
Anchorage jail secretly, accidentally recoded attorney-client conversations

New York:
County proposed centralized arraignment plan

Letter to the editor: Public defenders in New York

Board job takes public defender away: To avoid conflict of interest, substitute assumes Signore's place in court—to defendants' surprise

Public defenders change in Columbia County

California:
Law enforcement, attorneys dealing with implications of new law requiring attorney consultations before juveniles waive Miranda rights

Redding council approves new prosecutor to tackle 'quality of life' crimes

Washington:
Clallam public defender contract approved: Charging procedures changed

Joseph Enbody selected as public defender for indigent defense services

Michigan:
Michigan struggles to fix inadequate indigent defense system

Sepic says public defender's office has added work for his staff

Florida:
Jacksonville city council president, public defender call for suspension of pedestrian-ticket writing

Pennsylvania:
Northampton County council approves 8 cabinet nominees (including Chief PD)

Illinois:
Henry board talks software, public defender work

Connecticut:
Perry named supervisor of Norwich public defenders

New Jersey:
Nicola steps down as Washington Twp public defender

Of Interest:
NJ court tosses rape case because prosecutors revealed defendant's immigrant status

This is how mass incarceration happens: The campaign to recall the judge who went easy on Brock Turner is well-intentioned. It's also incredibly dangerous.

Freed Angola lifer Robert Jones returns to Orleans courthouse, this time to help others


1/12/18

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Does your public defense office or program have an innovative project that you think other defenders should consider replicating? The ABA wants to know more about it. Please read about the ABA Exemplary Defense Project and nominate a program TODAY—deadline is January 31st!

National:
Opinion: Jeff Sessions has endorsed an unconstitutional fine on the poor

New York:
How New York could change the game for its criminal defendants

Same Topic:
District attorneys, public defenders weigh in on Cuomo's criminal justice proposals

Manhattan eliminates bail for most misdemeanor charges

New law gives felons a chance to right a wrong

Sauro getting public defender job

Public defender organization pushes back against sexual harassment suit claims

Texas:
Review of the operations of state counsel for offenders

New Report Finds—Surprise—Indigent defense attorneys shouldn't be under the control of the state prison system

Indiana:
Appeal planned on lawsuit challenging public defender system

Michigan:
Public defenders need help but who's going to pay for it?

Most plans to improve criminal defense for poor Michiganders will be OK's, official says

Same Topic:
State says yes to indigent defense plans, no to funding requests

Missouri:
Update: Judge orders prosecutors pay for some of man's defense work

Washington:
Will King County start providing attorneys for families in police shooting inquests?

Walsh's bill to fund indigent defense with marijuana money scheduled for public hearing

Joseph Enbody selected as public defender for indigent defense services

Maryland:
Opinion: The high cost of bad cops

Hawaii:
Court ends first year of decriminalized homelessness

Tennessee:
Opinion: Time to dismantle Tennessee's school-to-prison pipeline

New Jersey:
An era ends at public defender's office

Ohio:
John Laczko named new top Portage public defender

Florida:
Former assistant public defender honored by Florida Bar

Of Interest:
Weighing the cost: Blaine County attempts to deter use of the death penalty, then backtracks on plan

The sexual assault epidemic no one talks about


1/5/18

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Does your public defense office or program have an innovative project that you think other defenders should consider replicating? The ABA wants to know about more about it. Please read about the ABA Exemplary Defense Project and nominate a program TODAY—deadline this month!

National:
A return to debtors' prisons: Jeff Sessions' war on the poor

Same Topic:
Sessions revokes law enforcement guidance on fining poor defendants

Rhode Island:
The public defender: Overworked and understaffed

Editorial: Making justice more equal

Missouri:
Public defenders continue to seek caseload relief

Same Topic:
Caseload conference to be held Friday in Miller County

Mid-Missouri district public defender files motion for caseload conference due to high workload

Public defender subject to budget withholdings, appeals court rules

Indiana:
COA affirms dismissal of Johnson County public defender suit

Same Topic:
Court rules against inmates in public defender case

Grant to help Lawrence County connect people with treatment

New York:
How New York could change the game for criminal defendants

Opinion: Pass the (right) right to know act

Olderman steps into executive director position for Bronx defenders

North Carolina:
A judicial pact to cut court costs for the poor

Wyoming:
Wyoming public defender asks for more attorneys, support staff

Illinois:
More pay for public defenders?

Getting a grip on the Bail Reform Act

Same Topic:
State law changes moves away from cash bond in criminal cases

Washington:
Walsh bill would direct part of weed tax to public defender costs

Another opioid impact: Rising expense for public defenders

Court system makes changes to address defense attorney shortage

Michigan:
Would Michigan legislature give $87M to defend poor people accused of a crime?

State rejects Oakland County's criminal defense plan than included money for prosecutors

Isabella County implements new public defender position

Berrien County news (incl. update on PD office)

Alaska:
Alaska changes bail system, with more people to be released

City's public defender retiring after working more than 11,000 cases in 17 years

Nebraska:
County board removes public defender as elected official

Board of commissioners approves new full-time position at 80 percent of county attorney's earnings

South Carolina:
Horry County sheriff's office works to reduce overcrowding at county jail

Ohio:
Defender pleads for increase in salaries

Defense of indigent agreement reached

Wisconsin:
Catching up: Pay increase sought by private lawyers taking public defender cases

Same Topic:
Bill hikes pay for private bar lawyers

Two bird, one stone: Bill helps lawyers with debt if they take rural PD cases

Idaho:
Blaine County commissioners, prosecutor, spar over felony defense fund

Massachusetts:
Massachusetts prosecutors to throw out 8,000 convictions in second drug lab scandal

New Jersey:
On the death penalty, New Jersey got it right

Maryland:
Baltimore County pilot program aims to reduce number of people in jail before trial

California:
The California law that keeps police misconduct secret

Gov. Brown appoints deputy public defender Kelly Neel to the bench

Longtime SLO county public defender appointed Superior Court judge

Virginia:
A Virginia jury convicted a 19-year-old maid of stealing. Then they paid her fine.

Texas:
Commissioners apply for grant to help offset indigent defense costs

Hawaii:
This court offers the homeless a fresh start instead of punishment

Mississippi:
Alderman approve hiring of second public defender

New Mexico:
Damian Horne: A 'true warrior' of the courtroom

Pennsylvania:
Domalakes promoted to chief public defender

Of Interest:
Charged with a crime? Chances are a lot of your court fees will go to private companies

Challenges follow defendants who serve as own lawyers

Arizona federal courts had highest number of prison sentencings in the US last year

Attorneys question disparity in federal/state sentences for drug death cases