The Delivery of Public Defense Services

Mississippi: A Short Story

Mississippi has 82 counties and a statewide population estimated in 2009 at roughly 2.95 million. The felony trial courts are structured through 22 Circuit Court districts, with each comprising multiple counties.  As the NAACP-LDF so succinctly stated, with the exception of death penalty cases and felony appeals (since 2005), “the State of Mississippi does not contribute one dollar towards the representation of poor defendants. Instead, it requires counties to shoulder the full obligation of providing lawyers for the poor.”

Understanding the comparison of budgets for prosecutors and budgets for public defense

From watching crime shows on television, we would all have the impression that a prosecutor stands on one side and a public defender stands on the other in every case, giving the appearance that their roles are exact mirror images of each other. But this is not true, for several reasons.