Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New York City Public Defenders’ Caseloads to Be Capped

A provision in New York’s $131 billion state budget bill passed last week calls for a cap on the number of criminal cases each New York City court-appointed lawyer can handle. For more on the story go here. This is a good thing; but only if the budget also provides for more attorneys. Otherwise, what you end up with is the same number of attorneys handling fewer cases and more defendants lacking representation forcing a very bad choice: what's better? defendants getting inadequate representation because their lawyers have too much work, or defendants not getting representation at all because there are no lawyers available

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