Public defenders in New Orleans are saying that they cannot handle the city’s indigent caseload and are turning away those suspects who can’t afford to pay for legal representation. All thanks to a million-dollar budget shortfall.
And as Orleans Deputy District Defender Jee Park points out, without legal representation from the start, many unfortunate circumstances could arise, such as: missing evidence, erased videos, fading memories of critical witnesses, etc.
The ACLU filed a class action federal lawsuit on behalf of suspects who can’t afford their own lawyers. pointing out that they have a constitutional right to legal representation, reports Debbie Elliot.