Public Defenders' right.
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Public Defenders' right.

Date: May 14, 2009
By: Christine Slusser
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 37

Intro: The House passed a bill which gives public defenders the right to turn down a trial.

Christine Slusser has more from the state Capitol. 

RunTime:0:29
OutCue: SOC

Two Representatives butted heads on a bill which was passed on to the governor Thursday.

Mary Still from Columbia debated with fellow Democrat Don Calloway from St. Louis saying innocent people would pay for this bill.

Actuality:  STILL2.WAV
Run Time: 00:11
Description: "STILL: There are gonna be people that are held in jail who might be innocent and they are waiting for their turn to get a public defender.

CALLOWAY: Absolutely lady, and that is very, very disturbing..."

Calloway said it was better to have something than nothing.

Still reluctantly conceded saying it was a shame the state could only do this much.

If a public defender turns down the trial, the court could grab any lawyer off the street if it was a juvenile or municipal case.

From Jefferson City, I'm Christine Slusser.


Intro: Legislators sent the governor a bill that allows public defenders to turn away cases if they are too overloaded.

Christine Slusser has more from Jefferson City.

RunTime:0:44
OutCue: SOC

With a vote of 139 yes and 16 no, a bill to lighten the work load of public defenders is on its way to Governor Nixon.

Columbia's Democrat, Representative Mary Still at first disagreed with the bill.

 

Actuality:  STILL.WAV
Run Time: 00:17
Description: "If we're setting up a system of prioritizing or whatever and they don't have to take any more cases because they are overloaded, and I recognize that they are, but then we have people who have committed crime who...it's just gotta be they're dream come true."

After a debate with a fellow Democrat, Still reluctantly vote yes on the measure.

If a public defender does turn down a case, the courts can always grab any lawyer off the street to represent juvenile or municipal cases.

From the state Capitol, I'm Christine Slusser.

 


Intro: The House passed a bill that allows public defenders to turn down cases. One Representative says this would leave criminals on the street and the innocent in jail.

Christine Slusser has more from the state Capitol.

RunTime:0:43
OutCue: SOC
Actuality:  STILL3.WAV
Run Time: 00:03
Description: "So, if this is the best we could do, it's a shame."

That was Democrat Mary Still, a Representative from Columbia.

She argued with fellow Democrat Don Calloway from St. Louis about a bill that would allow overloaded public defenders to turn down trials.

Calloway says doing something is better than nothing.

Actuality:  BROWN3.WAV
Run Time: 00:11
Description: "We're gonna have to do something about increasing funding. There is no funding in this bill, but ultimately it allows the public defender commission, with its own discretion, to stop taking as many cases if they feel so overloaded."

Still says this will allow courts to keep criminals on the streets if they are too overloaded.

However, courts can legally pull any lawyer off the street to represent in juvenile or municipal cases.

From Jefferson City, I'm Christine Slusser.