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Indigent Services general counsel dismayed by two NCLW articles (access required)

Commentary

I am writing to express my extreme dismay at the article that Lawyers Weekly published by staff writer Paul Tharp in the May 16, 2011, issue, which was poorly researched at best and misleading in its entirety. The lead article on the front page, "Phony Indigents May Be Draining Defense Funds," is extremely irresponsible journalism that undermines IDS' efforts to obtain adequate funding for indigent defense, something that is the state's constitutional obligation, based solely on anecdotal and unsupported statements of opinion. The article cites Wilmington attorney James McGee as stating that indigent means "destitute" and that most defendants who apply for appointed counsel are not indigent.

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