public defender

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Public Defender

An attorney appointed by a court or employed by the government to represent indigent defendants in criminal actions.

Cross-references

Right to Counsel.

public defender

n. an elected or appointed public official (usually of a county), who is an attorney regularly assigned by the courts to defend people accused of crimes who cannot afford a private attorney. In larger counties the public defender has a large case load, numerous deputy public defenders and office staff. In each Federal Judicial District there is also a federal public defender, and some states have a state public defender to supervise the provision of attorneys to convicted indigents for appeals.

public defender

a lawyer provided by the state to represent a person accused of a crime. Clearly, where there is respect for the human right of a fair trial, there has to be a separation of powers between the public defender and the prosecution - something that is difficult where there maybe a similar ‘civil service’ type of career structure and movement of individuals between divisions. They are well known in the USA and the system is the subject of an experiment in Scotland. It is now provided for in English legislation and the precise system is a matter of consultation. See CRIMINAL DEFENCE SERVICE.
References in periodicals archive ?
That list includes local courts, clerks, state attorneys, and public defenders.
Public Defender, 13th Judicial Circuit President, Florida Public Defender Association
mix would not be comparable--the public defenders would be left with a
According to BJS, about 1,000 public defender offices in 49 states and the District of Columbia received nearly 5.
Some public defenders are building careers, and value the trial experience they can get right out of law school.
Lobbyists for the state's public defenders and the Oregon State Bar hope to win an additional $29 million in public defender funding from a state budget that's enjoying rising revenues for the first time in years.
However, Ewen Smith, partner at Birmingham city centre-based Glaisyers solicitors, claimed public defenders led to a two-tier justice system where wealth determined the quality of defence a suspect received.
The idea is, if public defenders can't get enough funding from their state, they'll get it from squeezing the poor people who seek representation.
The question of how to treat malpractice actions against public defenders is also timely.
The public defenders in 'Gideon's Army' are the opposite of those stereotypes in every way.
Public defenders could use these tools to reduce the total number of cases they handle.
16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- About 1,000 public defender offices in 49 states and the District of Columbia received nearly 5.