Public Defenders await High Court ruling -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Public Defenders await High Court ruling

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The struggling Georgia public defenders system could end up in financial ruins if the state Supreme Court holds it financially responsible for a death penalty case.

The high court will decide who should pay the bill in a 1995 Burke County death penalty case. If the court decides it's the public defenders office-- even though they weren't in existance then-- it could bankrupt the system.

The district attorney's office says it's important that the entire court systems receives proper funding.

"If they don't get a fair trial then it doubles the work for everybody," said Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards. "If the court of appeals finds that a defendant wasn't appropriately represented, if the state is successful in prosecuting the case via a jury trial then we have to retry it then that doubles the cost."

Currently shortfalls in funding has the District Attorney's office furloughing employees one day every month.


Powered by Frankly