MO State HS Sports

Missouri judge says public defender waitlist unfair

(AP) — A Missouri judge says the wait time for some poor defendants to get legal help is unconstitutional.

Circuit Judge Will Hickle in an order said a group of poor defendants likely will succeed in a class-action lawsuit against the state.

The defendants’ attorneys say some waited in jail for months before getting public defenders. Missouri public defenders have been overwhelmed for years, prompting a waiting list for state-paid legal help. But Director Mary Fox says she’s hopeful state lawmakers will increase the office’s budget to reduce wait times.

Hickle is delaying a final ruling to give lawmakers time to act.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *