Post by pumpkinpie on Feb 21, 2008 20:38:23 GMT -5
Georgia's Budget Cuts for Public Defenders May Bring Capital Cases to a Halt
The Georgia Senate Appropriations Committee cut the state public defender budget to $513,000, less than 15% of what Gov. Sonny Perdue had recommended to cover costs until the end of June. The governor had originally sought $3.6 million for the Public Defender Standards Council, which is now concerned that without necessary funds, the Georgia court system will come to a standstill, including their defense in capital cases.
House Majority Leader Jerry Keen said that additional funding would have allowed the capital cases to move forward. The Senate’s budget cut, he said, is "a huge blow to the ability of prosecutors to begin prosecuting these capital cases." None of the new money is to go to the case of Brian Nichols, who is accused of an infamous courthouse shooting. Because prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty in that case, it has become very expensive for both sides.
(“Georgia Senate slashes money for public defenders,” by Shannon McCaffrey, Macon Telegraph, February 20, 2008). See Costs and Representation. www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=2630&scid=64