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Something One Doesn't Hear Every Day "Quick, Send More Lawyers!"

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posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 03:42 AM

"We were in a mess before, and now we're in a boiling mess," says state Sen. Lydia Jackson, D-Shreveport, chairwoman of a legislative task force on indigent defense. She says she doesn't know what state and local officials can tell the courts that would help the situation. "The state doesn't have any money."

In New Orleans, nearly 80% of all criminal defendants typically are represented by public defenders, says the New Orleans' Indigent Defender Board, which oversees the defenders' office. Before Katrina hit in August, the office had 42 lawyers. It now has six. Its annual budget has dropped from $2.5 million to $500,000.

"We have one staff person. We have one investigator. We have no capital case defense lawyers, no office, no telephones, no computers," board member Laurie White says. She says some defendants have been in jail awaiting hearings longer than they would have served if they had been able to plead guilty.

Well, this is unusual. Not enough lawyers to go around. That's definitely a first.

This situation is pretty unnverving. What can they do? Tons of evidence destroyed, witnesses scattered across the country like some bizarre diaspora, and on top of it all, no public defenders to represent the accused.


Things went from bad to worse down there, eh? The hurricane was merciful compared to the problems that sprung up in her wake. What, if anything, can de done about this?

posted on Apr, 1 2006 @ 03:04 PM
Granted you don't hear that too often. Usually you only hear it from Democrats after Presidential elections.

posted on Jun, 18 2006 @ 11:28 PM
Interesting news on this front - NO has just recently finished their first jury trial since the disaster.

It's been how long?

Progress, I suppose, but it's REALLY slow-going.

No word yet on how they're going to deal with the plethora of destroyed evidence, missing/relocated witnesses/arresting officers.


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