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 ?
Derwyn Bunton, the Chief Public Defender for Orleans Parish, was asked in an interview how he was explaining to the families of those accused of crimes that they could not provide representation.
who therefore had essentially no interaction with the public defender.
It is no secret that the Missouri State Public Defender System is overworked and underfunded.
But in the competing view, the public defender is no different from a private defense attorney (apart from who signs his paychecks): His overriding duty is to provide each individual client with zealous advocacy.
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.
And in time they will try to allow the public defender to have a monopoly and squeeze the private practices of legal aid.
The state public defender doesn't keep a count of who declines representation because of the payment requirement.
The Public Defender will provide legal defense to adults and juveniles charged with misdemeanors by the Park City Prosecutor, and who have been found eligible for appointment of legal counsel by the Summit County Justice Court or by the Third District Court, Park City Department.
Joyner for the highest honor given by the Florida Public Defender Association, the Second Circuit PD Nancy Daniels said Joyner "has lived a life of service to the cause of justice and richly deserves this recognition.
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.
In addressing the ethical dimensions of the crisis in indigent defense services, this Article focuses on the ethical responsibilities of supervising attorneys and managers of public defender programs to ensure quality representation of clients in the face of crushing caseloads.