Published On: Sat, Jan 16th, 2016

Waiting List in Louisiana Leaves Poor Without Legal Representation

Susanne Posel (OC) : The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court in New Orleans, Louisiana, accusing the public defender’s office (PDO) of creating a “waiting list” for poor residents who have been arrested.

pregnant_prisoner_USA_SP_OCJust recently the PDO announced they would stop taking cases such as attempted murder, certain types of rape, and armed robbery because of underfunding.

This left many to spend long stents in jail without access to legal representation.

According to the suit, “chronic underfunding” of the PDO caused this situation; along with the fact that this program is paid for by fees accrued from traffic citations.

Plaintiffs Darwin Yarls Jr., Leroy Shaw Jr. and Douglas Brown say that because they did not have an attorney available, there was no one to challenge the court on arrests, bail conditions, negotiate with prosecutors, or investigate the charges.

The ACLU alleges that because of a $1 million deficit in fiscal funding, the PDO conducted a hiring freeze. Subsequently, a “significant number of attorneys” left the program; leaving the remaining lawyers with exorbitant caseloads “well above” American Bar Association (ABA) standards.

James Dixon, state public defender, pointed out that the real problem is “the unreliable stream of money from parking tickets” which is used to pay for the PDO.

Four years ago, the Louisiana state legislature “agreed to increase the fee that the offices receive from parking tickets and other violations to $45 from $35”; however this coincided with a severe drop in tickets given out, beginning in 2009.

The lawsuit asserted: ““Louisiana’s structure dictates that the funding available to a public defender is inherently unreliable. As a result, public defenders have continually faced funding emergencies like the one in Orleans Parish. These crises have in turn forced offices into extreme measures like refusing clients.”

Susanne Posel, Occupy Corporatism

About the Author

- Susanne Posel is the Chief Editor of OccupyCorporatism and a globally syndicated host of the Region 10 Report broadcast on American Freedom Radio. Susanne Posel is a productive writer of news, opinion and analysis on a wide range of subjects, including globalism, corporatism and the New World Order. Other subjects include eugenics, climate change controversies, martial law, the technocratic banking elite and second amendment rights. Susanne Posel is a political and social activist, believing in non-compliance. Susanne Posel´s articles are widely published in independent or alternative media. She has been featured on radio shows such as The Hagman & Hagman Report, Wide Awake News with Charlie McGrath, Red Ice Radio, Lorrie´s Talk News Radio, The Vinny Eastwood Show, SGT Report, The Corbett Report, United We Strike Monthly Marathon. Susanne Posel began contributing to nsnbc international in June 2013. She can be contacted by e-mail at occupycorporatism@gmail.com

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