Dougherty Public Defender office dealing with budget cuts - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Public Defender office dealing with budget cuts

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Georgia's cash strapped public defender system is being challenged in the Georgia Supreme Court. A murder suspect is arguing that his rights were violated by a lack of funding for public defenders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Dougherty County's Public Defender Office says their budget is tight also, but so far they are able to keep up with a staggering demand. The 11 attorneys in the public defender office usually are handling between 160 to 180 Superior Court cases at any one time. The state salaried attorney's are also facing furloughs, but they say they take pride in giving the best defense possible.

 

 

 

Dougherty Circuit Public Defender Leisa Terry said "In spite of what is going on there, our clients deserve this level of representation. That is competent, zealous, efficient, effective representation."

The Dougherty Circuit Public Defender office has a one and a half million dollar annual budget, with funding from the state and the county. They provide legal defense for defendants in juvenile, state and Superior Court that can't afford an attorney.

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