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Citing the pandemic, state legislators asked all agencies to trim their budgets. The cuts could eliminate positions for public defenders who can show a trial or sentence was unjust, overturn convictions, or reduce a person’s time.
Advocates warn that the cuts could push an already overburdened system to the breaking point.
At least two people have killed themselves in jail after waiting for more than a week to be appointed a lawyer.
After the state cut funds for capital defense, there’s a growing wait list of people in jail without a lawyer.