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Large Public Defense Case Strains Ga. System

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Large Public Defense Case Strains Ga. System

Law

Large Public Defense Case Strains Ga. System

Large Public Defense Case Strains Ga. System

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9112091/9112094" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The public defender system in Georgia is running short of money — because of one huge case. The defense of Brian Nichols, charged with killing four people after breaking out of a courthouse two years ago, has cost $1.4 million dollars so far — and it hasn't gone to trial yet.

The case is prompting some people to rethink their whole system for public defenders. Public defenders fear they won't have enough money to represent dozens of indigents all over the state.

This week, the judge in the case postponed Nichols' trial for six months because of the funding issue.