Mississippi County Sues for Funds to Defend Poor

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Quitman County, Mississippi, is suing the state seeking money to defend indigent defendants. The county, about 60 miles south of Memphis, is located in one of a few states that does not pay to defend the poor in cases not subject to the death penalty. The New York Times says that the case, which is set for trial this month, echoes the 40-year-old Supreme Court case of Gideon v. Wainwright, which said that poor people accused of serious crimes are entitled to free legal aid. Prosecutors say that poor defendants were not promised more than passable representation . . .

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