Last month, Hunter suspended the prosecutions of 42 indigent criminal defendants [JURIST report] who had not been provided adequate legal counsel. New Orleans' indigent defense program, funded almost entirely from traffic court fines, shrank from over 40 lawyers to six in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. State Representative Daniel Martiny (R) (official website), a member of a legislative taskforce on indigent defense, has said he plans to submit a bill that would establish a statewide public defender's board to replace the current system of 41 separate local boards in an effort to standardize the quality of representation provided to criminal defendants in Louisiana. The New Orleans Times-Picayune has local coverage.
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