Here's a pretty comprehensive article on the costs and benefits of the public defender system in Dallas County
from the Dallas Morning News
. The one thing about the article that bothers me is that it continues to point out the problems of campaign contributions and how that affects judges' decisions in appointing private-practice attorneys, which is a perhaps more scandalous on its face, but doesn't talk about the major problem I witnessed with some private-practice attorneys--the financial incentive for the attorney to get the case over with as soon as possible. Strangely, this is cited by the judge as a positive for using private-practice attorneys as opposed to public defenders, and no real mention is made of the divergent interests this can create between the attorney and his client.
Labels: indigent defense, judges, public defenders