Tom Green County Commissioners Mull Public Defender Program


SAN ANGELO, TX – Tom Green County Commissioners Tuesday will consider creating a Public Defender program during their regular meeting. 

A Public Defender program would be a new county office employing attorneys to represent defendants who can't afford an attorney.  Currently, private practice attorneys participate in a revolving list and are appointed by the court to defendants who can't afford an attorney and the county pays the private practice attorneys.  

Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd said the program was initiated by the District Judges.  The program would provide attorneys for indigent defendants in Tom Green and the surrounding six counties. 

"The grant covers approximately  $2.29 million of the $2.9 million the first year and declines over five years for Tom Green County and remains at 66% for the other six counties." Floyd said in an email.  

Commissioners courts in the past have investigated the possibility of creating a Public Defenders program to save taxpayers money but private practice attorneys and some judges opposed the program.  

Item no. 15 on the regular court agenda reads as follows: "Consider approving application for the Texas Indigent Defense Commission Improvement Grant to establish a Public Defender program and adopt a resolution of support."

San Angelo LIVE! will have more on this story Tuesday. 


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The United States does not have a "justice system" it has a legal system with the amount of justice you receive being directly proportional to the amount of money you have/spend. It is worse in red states, as republicans (aside from being vindictive people) generally want to be seen as "tough on crime." Does anyone think that OJ would have gotten off if he had a public defender? The legal system gives the defense attorneys way to many cases to handle at once with very little money to do it with, if they need to test something (forensically) or a expert witness to testify they have to petition the court for them to pay for it. Contrast to the prosecution who has basically an unlimited budget and can call up anyone they need to for tests or expert witnesses without having to worry about money at all. This is by design. The deck is stacked against citizens. People get convicted of crimes they did not do everyday in this country. It is even worse in Texas where people have been EXECUTED and found not guilty after words.

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