January 17, 2007

WA: "a crazy quilt"

From the Olympian:

Alexander: Money needed to improve public defense

The state's public defense system must be improved..., Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerry Alexander told a joint session of the Legislature Wednesday...

"Too often in our state, indigent defendants are represented in criminal cases by lawyers who lack the training and experience to be considered effective or who are overburdened with caseloads that are so large that they are unable to devote adequate time to the defense," Alexander said.

"... The systems that we have in the state for providing public defense vary greatly and, consequently, we have a crazy quilt of public defender systems with no two systems being exactly the same..."

The chief justice's speech is archived on TVW here.