State lawmakers consider changes in court system - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State lawmakers consider changes in court system

By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -Critics say a proposal to try to save the state some money could be disastrous for Georgia's court system and hurt county governments.

State lawmakers may consider giving counties the responsibility of hiring lawyers for defendants who can't afford them.

That's the way the system used to work until Governor Sonny Perdue signed the Georgia Indigent Defense Act into law in 2003.

"It's hard to say right now because everybody is strapped for cash including the county and the city, said Dougherty County District Attorney, Greg Edwards." "Will putting the process back into county hands make a difference? It's too early to tell. That seems to be the idea the legislature is putting forth right now."

The state system is all but broke, but critics say the old system was uneven and going back to it could open up the state to lawsuits.

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