Study finds Idaho fails low-income defendants - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Study finds Idaho fails low-income defendants

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho. - A study has found that Idaho fails to provide the level of legal defense for low-income defendants as required by the U.S. Constitution.
     
The National Legal Aid and Defender Association advocates for attorneys of low-income clients.
     
The association in a study released Wednesday says public defenders in seven sample counties around Idaho are consistently overloaded with cases.
     
The association says that leads to pressure on public defenders to reach plea deals as quickly as possible, sometimes without adequately representing the client.
     
Bruce Pickett is chief deputy prosecutor for Bonneville County, where the study found public defenders are assigned more then four full-time attorneys' worth of work.
     
Pickett tells the Post Register that the caseload is more than what would be ideal, but that public defenders are still able to do their jobs.

 IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) _ A study has found that Idaho fails to
provide the level of legal defense for low-income defendants as
required by the U.S. Constitution.
      The National Legal Aid and Defender Association advocates for
attorneys of low-income clients.
      The association in a study released Wednesday says public
defenders in seven sample counties around Idaho are consistently
overloaded with cases.
      The association says that leads to pressure on public defenders
to reach plea deals as quickly as possible, sometimes without
adequately representing the client.
      Bruce Pickett is chief deputy prosecutor for Bonneville County,
where the study found public defenders are assigned more then four
full-time attorneys' worth of work.
      Pickett tells the Post Register that the caseload is more than
what would be ideal, but that public defenders are still able to do
their jobs.

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