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NACDL News: NACDL Sounds Alarm Over Inadequate Funding of Federal Indigent Defense System
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer
NACDL News columns.
Austerity measures, including sequestration, have placed a disparate burden on America’s federal defender system, with no commensurate reduction in the resources available to the prosecutorial function. Federal public defenders have been forced to lay off and furlough attorneys, close offices, and eliminate training; without significant additional funding, federal defenders will be dangerously overburdened and attorneys who accept court-appointed cases will likely face lengthy delays in payments and significant economic hardship.
Following deep funding cuts that began before the federal sequester and increased after the sequester took effect, the nation’s federal indigent defense system is in crisis. These cuts are having a devastating effect on the nation’s federal defenders, and delayed payments are inflicting extraordinary hardship on the small firm and solo practitioners who provide indigent defense services through a panel appointment system. And now, another serious b
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