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.


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.
who therefore had essentially no interaction with the public defender.
These people are assigned public defenders, the much-maligned advocates who represented the accused in most of the wrongful convictions mentioned above.
That means Oregon will need to hire more public defenders.
People who are arrested will be able to use a public defender from the point when they are being held in a police station, as they will be added to the duty solicitor rotas.
Most turndowns are in person, but some people with prior experience shy away from applying [for public defense]," says Michael Tobin, director of the Wisconsin Public Defender trial division.
There are few positions as laden with tension and contradiction as that of the public defender.
I told myself I wasn't going to go back to public defender work.
Just as changing some of the rules for welfare recipients lead to millions of people leaving the welfare system in the 1980s, a change of rules for the public defender system would lead to substantial reductions in the number of people using the public defender.
The findings are based on two reports released by BJS examining public defender offices across the country.
At the Public Defender Services, the only way the state contract pays more is if the office takes on more cases, Assistant Director Bob Homan says.
I don't mean to be tunnel-visioned," Public Defender Ken Clayman said recently.