Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

The Blog Is Not Dead. Hopefully GPDSC isn’t either.

Posted by Maggie on August 28, 2007

I know blogs have a tendency to wither and die within a couple weeks.  That is not the case here.  It’s just been a busy few days.

I’ll have a court update later today. For now, Southern Criminal Law & Justice brings up the Fulton Daily Report’s article on the continuing troubles of the Georgia Public Defender System.

It’s an issue close to my heart, having once been a part of GPDSC. I am anxious to see how the new director approaches the issue. I’m pleased to see they’ve asked for more money than expected. It is sorely needed. I hope they can convince the Appropriations group that an office of salaried conflict attorneys is a much better investment than bringing in outside counsel at hourly rates, a la Brian Nichols.

I admit, though, it’s getting a little tiring to see all the negative coverage. Never do I see in these articles any praise for the hard work the PD’s are doing. I never hear about how great they are. And in large part, they are. We’re bringing in eager young blood that really believes in the cause and a decrepit system is not going to keep them there. (My own departure was not due to these larger woes, but I know how antsy it makes everyone feel.) Maybe if we focused a little more on how important the work is, how well it is being done, and how meager the compensation really is, we might make some progress in a system where a lot of people are wondering whether you even need PD’s.

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