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Tag Archives: public defenders

Verdict upheld despite prosecutor’s alleged conflict

A Missouri appeals court upheld a man’s convictions for second-degree murder and armed criminal action, rejecting the defendant’s claims of a conflict in the Adair County prosecutor’s office. James McFarland had been represented by Kristen Coffman, an assistant public defender, ...

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Nixon vetoes caseload cap for public defenders

Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation giving public defenders greater control over their caseloads. Under the provisions of the bill, the director of the public defender system would have been able to notify the court in certain circumstances that the public defender is unavailable, leaving any person who is eligible for services on a waiting list. The measure was seen as the biggest legislation affecting the state agency that provides defense for indigent clients.

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VIDEO: Nixon undecided on public defender bill

Gov. Jay Nixon says prosecutors, judges and other groups have come out strongly against legislation revamping the state’s public defender system that would allow the system to establish a maximum caseload threshold. Nixon did not indicate whether he would sign or veto ...

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The fate of legal bills of note

Through last-minute parliamentary maneuvering, Sen. Jim Lembke (pictured), R-Lemay, became the unlikely sponsor of the first omnibus judiciary bill to pass the legislature in years. Lembke said he found the turn of events ironic. "My relationship with the judiciary has been tenuous at best," he admitted. Continue reading for a rundown of legal bills of note that passed in 2009, such as the caseload cap for public defenders, and those that failed, such as changes to the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.

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Public defender caseload law passes

The Missouri House has sent a bill to the governor allowing the Missouri State Public Defender System to regulate its caseload. The bill lets the system reject some cases when certain offices become overworked. The bill replaces an agency rule ...

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Defenders see increase despite recession

The state's public defender office is mulling over the most effective use for money aimed at paring down its caseload. Approximately $2 million for the Public Defender Commission was tucked into a wide-ranging bill featuring some projects funded with federal stimulus money. After a series of starts and stops through the legislative process, the bill passed both the Senate and the House on Thursday evening, a little less than a day before a mandatory budget deadline. Pictured is House Budget Chairman Allen Icet, R-Wildwood.

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Legislature passes the 2010 budget

The Missouri General Assembly has completed a budget that uses federal stimulus money to forestall cuts made to the state's judiciary system. (pictured is House Budget Chairman Allen Icet, R-Wildwood) As a result, both the judiciary and the state's public defender system will see slight increases to their 2010 operating budgets. Included in that budget bill is $37.3 million for the state's public defender system. The appropriation is slightly higher than what the department got during the current fiscal year.

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