RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Dozens of attorneys, the NAACP and former
Supreme Court justices are among those opposing a funding cut for
lawyers who defend poor people accused of crimes.
Law school dean at Duke University, North Carolina Central, Wake
Forest, UNC Charlotte, Campbell and Elon issued a joint statement
urging lawmakers to reconsider a proposed cut of $11 million from
the state's Indigent Defense Program.
An agency spokesman says the average cost of a case last year
State lawmakers say they eventually want to switch from paying
private defense attorneys to wider-spread use of public defender
Five former Supreme Court justices say that will take time. They
say reducing fees for defense of the poor could lead to overturned
convictions based on inadequate representation.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)