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    • In September 2013, the Montana Office of the State Public Defender filed a motion seeking to decline new cases in two courts of limited jurisdiction. Though the lower court found in October of that year that it did not have the authority to grant relief, a subsequent appeal was put on hold to allow for a political resolve. Now that significant new resources have been secured, the 6AC can tell the story of how transparency, time-tracking and data collection persuaded the Governor to fund new positions in the hopes that other states can learn from Montana’s example.
    • There are the very special few. Public Defenders. You guys. You seek out those hands. You grasp them, hold them, work to pull them to safety. You often cannot succeed. Your clients are so frequently swallowed in injustice. But you are by their side as it happens.
    • prolonged pretrial detention
      Last Tuesday was one of the saddest days I've ever experienced as an attorney. My client died at the hands of the State of Mississippi, and it wasn't an execution. He died as a pre-trial detainee in a death-trap jail pod in the Hinds County Detention Center.
    • Idaho became the 23rd state to create a statewide public defender commission overseeing right to counsel services when the Governor signed a reform bill into law after it overwhelmingly passed both chambers of the legislature. Though the Governor also signed a budget bill giving the nascent commission start-up money, a second reform bill is still needed to ensure that commission standards will be enforce uniformly across the state.

    Contributing Authors

    mutual aid

    Our community includes brilliant men and women with a diversity of specializations, interests, and experiences. NAPD is a collection of individuals dedicated to public defense and the right to counsel connecting directly to share knowledge, brainstorm challenges, and offer support.

    you're the expert

    No one understands public defense better than the thousands of men and women across the country who engage in the work on a daily basis. Through the unified voice of NAPD, we will at last claim our rightful position as experts regarding the right to counsel and the systems designed to provide that valuable right.

    stronger together

    The men and women who dedicate their professional lives to public defense must serve as the catalysts for change. Through NAPD, we will speak with one voice for our clients and their constitutional right to counsel.