Advocates: Texas Indigent Defense Nearing Crisis

Texas is reaching a crisis point, putting itself at risk of a civil rights lawsuit — or worse, a total meltdown of the criminal justice system — because it so severely shortchanges the system designed to ensure impoverished accused criminals get adequate legal representation, advocates told a Senate committee last week.

“We are facing a real crossroads in indigent defense because of money,” Jeff Blackburn, general counsel for the Texas Innocence Project, told members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. “The money in these counties is going to start running out.”

Nine years ago, before Texas adopted the ...

Full Story

Comment Policy

The Texas Tribune is pleased to provide the opportunity for you to share your observations about this story. We encourage lively debate on the issues of the day, but we ask that you refrain from using profanity or other offensive speech, engaging in personal attacks or name-calling, posting advertising, or wandering away from the topic at hand. To comment, you must be a registered user of the Tribune, and your real name will be displayed. Thanks for taking time to offer your thoughts.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Sign-Up

Sign Up for The Brief

Our daily news summary