Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

GPDSC Inside Look

Posted by Maggie on December 1, 2007

GPDSC held their big meeting earlier this week to address funding. The AJC article gives us one of the first glimpses into the internal debates within GPDSC. The debate among PD’s themselves is wide and passionate, so it didn’t surprise me that the Board is not all of the same mind.

It seems the basic decision is whether to fight the legislature head on for funding, or try to negotiate with them more calmly. The blatant disregard the legislature has given GPDSC sure makes it seem like they need to come out fighting. But it also makes a distinct danger of losing the program all together, something that the State simply can’t afford.

The article also mentions anger at the media. I understand that, to an extent. The focus on Nichols leaves out the bigger issue. But a lot of the problems in the media are made by GPDSC itself, as I’ve mentioned previously. They rarely comment on the issue publicly, which may be part of their strategy but leaves them looking downright dispassionate. I feel there’s a middle road here. They should be outspoken, particularly to the media, but still work to negotiate. Being passionate about something and expressing it may help their case publicly, which may then make the legislature more likely to negotiate. Public Defense shouldn’t be a shameful thing, it should be something to be proud of. I hope GPDSC starts seeing things that way. More than that, I hope the legislature doesn’t completely cripple the state by screwing this all up.

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