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Posts Tagged ‘Task Force on Indigent Defense’

Endorsement watch: The Chron for Hampton

The Chron joins the DMN and the Star-Telegram in endorsing Keith Hampton for the Court of Criminal Appeals. We highly recommend that voters cast their ballots instead for Democratic challenger Keith Hampton. This endorsement is not merely a rejection of the incumbent judge’s poor track record, but enthusiastic support for Hampton’s impressive history of working […]

Public defender’s office approved

Excellent! A state panel has awarded Harris County a $4.1 million grant to launch a public defender office, which is expected to start taking cases early next year. The county plans to roll out the office in phases over the next two years to handle appeals, juvenile cases, adult felony trials and mental health cases. […]

County redoes its public defender proposal

Back in April, Harris County Commissioners Court voted to start a pilot public defenders office, contingent on getting a $4.4 million grant from the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense to help cover costs. That initial effort was subsequently criticized for being inadequate, and the TFID gave the county 30 days to improve its grant […]

The softer side of Sharon Keller

The Trib lets us know that there’s more to Sharon Keller than willful indifference to death penalty appeals and rigid fealty to the prosecutorial perspective. For nearly as long as she has led the state‚Äôs highest criminal court, Keller has also served as chairwoman of the Task Force on Indigent Defense. Lawmakers created the task […]

Ellis criticizes county’s public defender proposal

State Sen. Rodney Ellis, who authored the bill that allowed Texas counties to create public defender offices, is not pleased with the plan that Harris County currently has to establish one. Ellis and other critics of the system say it compromises defense of the poor because attorneys must advocate before judges on whom they depend […]

Is the county’s public defender proposal good enough?

This op-ed by Charlie Baird, judge of the 299th District Court in Travis County, and William Sessions, former chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, suggest that the start-up public defender’s office that Commissioners Court recently voted to authorize suffers from the same problem as the current system: lack […]

Public defender office gets OK from Commissioners Court

Good. The Harris County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to start a public defender office on an experimental basis, as long as the state covers the $4.4 million cost for the first year. The unanimous vote authorizes the county to apply for a grant from the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense. If awarded the money, […]