BUDGET: Indigent Defense

Okay, AJC has this article and I am not sure if I like the alternative to not funding indigent defense.  It appears that the cost might be shifted onto the counties in the event there is a shortfall on the state’s part for indigent defense. 

Am I understanding that correctly? 

2 comments

  1. Mad Dog says:

    Bull,

    It’s hard to tell from that one article, but I’d think you’re right.

    I’ve read a very little bit about murder trials and death penalty cases. But, it’s possible that budget issues can lead to plea bargains, and I didn’t mean to create a pun about ‘bargains.’

    I don’t want to rehash the pro/cons of the death penalty. I merely want to comment on local budgets and the tax base outside the Metro hub.

    Some metro counties can budget with the expectation of an ever growing tax base. Other more rural counties have a stagnant tax base.

    If the expenses (usually more than a million) for a death penalty indigent defense case were the same for two different counties, would that force one DA into avoiding a death penalty case?

    Or, would the budget reality cause the DA to focus limited resources on the death penalty case and plead out lessor offenses?

    Just trying to show that even though money doesn’t solve all problems, bad budget ideas cripple justice and ideals like ‘equal protection under the law.’

    The O.J. Simpsons already have an celebrity advantage when facing justice. The Paris Hiltons a cash advantage when facing justice. Must we handicap rural courts to help political careers?

    “I never voted to raise taxes.” “I cut spending.” “My conviction rate is the highest in the state.”

    Given the relatively lavish life styles to most other countries, do we need to cut down on justice so Steve Jobs can create another … iPhone?

    If the money saved on justice is spent on just another really neat looking $499 cell phone, is our society meeting the moral standards set out in the Constitution of the United States?

    The scales of justice…. lip service to American ideals and a great cell phone… or… on the other side… living as close to the ideals of liberty, justice, and equality and doing without the cute electronic gadgets.

    Anyway, Bull, nice thread you’ve started on budgets and consequences.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    Bull,

    It’s hard to tell from that one article, but I’d think you’re right.

    I’ve read a very little bit about murder trials and death penalty cases. But, it’s possible that budget issues can lead to plea bargains, and I didn’t mean to create a pun about ‘bargains.’

    I don’t want to rehash the pro/cons of the death penalty. I merely want to comment on local budgets and the tax base outside the Metro hub.

    Some metro counties can budget with the expectation of an ever growing tax base. Other more rural counties have a stagnant tax base.

    If the expenses (usually more than a million) for a death penalty indigent defense case were the same for two different counties, would that force one DA into avoiding a death penalty case?

    Or, would the budget reality cause the DA to focus limited resources on the death penalty case and plead out lessor offenses?

    Just trying to show that even though money doesn’t solve all problems, bad budget ideas cripple justice and ideals like ‘equal protection under the law.’

    The O.J. Simpsons already have an celebrity advantage when facing justice. The Paris Hiltons a cash advantage when facing justice. Must we handicap rural courts to help political careers?

    “I never voted to raise taxes.” “I cut spending.” “My conviction rate is the highest in the state.”

    Given the relatively lavish life styles to most other countries, do we need to cut down on justice so Steve Jobs can create another … iPhone?

    If the money saved on justice is spent on just another really neat looking $499 cell phone, is our society meeting the moral standards set out in the Constitution of the United States?

    The scales of justice…. lip service to American ideals and a great cell phone… or… on the other side… living close to the ideals of liberty, justice, and equality and doing without the cute electronic gadgets.

    Anyway, Bull, nice thread you’ve started on budgets and consequences.

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