Ma. Officials Wrangle Over Unrepresented Suspects

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A debate on unrepresented criminal defendants is unfolding in Massachusetts. At a hearing yesterday, the Boston Globe reports, Hampden District Attorney William Bennett blamed the state public defender agency for the inability of poor criminal defendants in his county to find lawyers. Responding to a new ruling by the state's highest court that defendants are being denied their constitutional right to counsel, Bennett said caseloads of public defenders in Springfield are "artificially too low" and the lawyers should represent people languishing in jail because private lawyers will not take their cases at current pay scales. Bennett said public . . .

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