A tin cup for the public defenders

Louisiana’s sad system of paying for defense of indigents in criminal cases is drawing the attention of the national news media and two bloggers who happen to be public defenders: Gideon and David Feige. They find it intolerable that Louisiana relies on court costs added to traffic fines to pay public defenders. Evidently the Louisiana Supreme Court agrees; it authorized a trial judge to suspended a criminal prosecution until the State could fund adequate representation for the indigent defendants.

3 Comments so far

  1. Tyler (unregistered) on April 10th, 2005 @ 8:11 am

    That’s great news. I was just snarking to my boyfriend that the video gaming industry was using LA state law agencies as an arm of its enforcement division by shutting down Texas Hold’em games.

    I’m no big fan of Texas Hold’Em (never played in my life), but still … shutting down card games in small bars seems to me suspect. Card games are one of the few places in US society that we do anything social any more. Sitting mesmerized in front of a Video Poaker (had to misspell the word so that I could post!) machine at the back of Good Friends–that’s what the gambling industry really wants us to do.

    Times-Picayune story ‘Raise. Call. Busted.’

  2. Tyler (unregistered) on April 10th, 2005 @ 8:13 am

    Which is to say, it is nice to see progressive policy coming out of LA’s legal system rather than the same-ol’ same-ol’ working for big business …

  3. David Feige (unregistered) on April 14th, 2005 @ 11:56 pm

    It’s not that it’s traffic fines–it’s that it’s just traffic fines.

    Crazy way to fund a system. It’s basically a highly regressive criminal justice tax.

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