Louisiana’s indigent defense system is broken. A new bill may only make it worse.

Source: Washington Post
by Radley Balko

“In April, state Rep. Tanner Magee (R), speaker pro tempore of Louisiana’s House of Representatives, introduced a bill to overhaul the state’s public defender system. Though several witnesses opposed the bill in committee, and no one spoke in favor, it passed the state House overwhelmingly and now moves to the state Senate. At first glance, this might seem like a welcome development. Public defense in Louisiana has been in a state of crisis essentially for as long as it has existed. For years, it has relied in part on fees attached to convictions, from felonies to traffic violations — an absurd setup that means lawyers who represent the poor receive funding only when their clients get convicted.” (06/01/21)