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County Hires More Legal Help

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 15:18:48 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

McLean County is adding another full time Public Defender. That will cost about $30,000 for the rest of this calendar year. Defendants appear to be getting poorer in McLean County. Justice Committee Chairman William Caisley says nearly 80% of those charged with felonies cannot afford an attorney, an increase from past years. Caisley says that means the county can no longer handle the load and extra legal assistance becomes crucial.

"We risk having charges made of ineffective assistance of counsel by people who are convicted in McLean County who have been represented by the Public Defender's office."

552 felony cases were filed in McLean County through the first four months of the year. If that pace continues, the county would have an 18% increase in felonies this year.

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