The study of Louisiana’s system by David Carroll of the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association of Washington basically broke Louisiana’s problems into two areas — lack of proper funding and the fact that judges name the indigent defenders. The study maintains the judge’s goal of clearing dockets is in conflict with a defendant’s right to a fair trial.Other articles compare the funding within the State (a recent Caddo Parish study found the public defenders' office had one-third the resources that prosecutors had) and compared to other States (both Kentucky and Louisiana each spend about $30 million a year on public defenders, the number of cases in Kentucky is 116,000 a year, while Louisiana public defenders handle an estimated 400,000 cases annually).
“It’s not simply the money but also the structure of the indigent system,” Carroll said.
The lack of funding causes local public defenders to have “crushing caseloads,” and public defenders often do not see their clients, Carroll said.
17 August 2004
Louisiana Problems With Indigent Defense
There is apparently a federal case coming in Louisiana to force improvements in the indigent defense system. The problems?
Author: Ken Lammers on 8/17/2004