The Source: Are Changes Needed At The Public Defender's Office?
The Bexar County public defender's office has been accused of having no leadership or management by a current appellate public defender.
The San Antonio Current highlights the issue in their issue out today, citing a lack of a department head since 2011 and the need to make the department independent to avoid conflicts of interest per state law.
It is well known that indigent defense, or defending those who can't afford an attorney, in Texas is rife with problems. Bexar County has two appellate defenders and one mental health public defender tasked with enormous number of cases. The county can and does farm out cases to private defense attorneys.
The county took steps to increase funding by applying for grants, but critics say it doesn't go nearly far enough. What else do they need to do to ensure a fair trial?
- Kevin Collins, private defense attorney who no longer takes cases from the county
- Callie Enlow, managing editor at the San Antonio Current
*This is the first segment in the June 4 edition of The Source, which airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM.