Budget cuts threaten access to justice in the US

April 18, 2011 Government cost cutting, at both the state and federal level, is threatening access to justice in the US, according to reports.

According to the Wall Street Journal, states and counties have been forced to lay off public defenders, freeze salaries, and reduce the amount defenders can spend case investigators and staff training.

Meanwhile, public defenders claim that they should be insulated from futher budget cuts because:
a) they were already underfunded before the recession came along; and
b) states have a legal duty to provide legal representation to criminal defendants that cannot afford it.

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