Fixing the Public Defender System

This week, Sen. Bob Dixon (R-Springfield) added his voice to how to fix the public defender system.  In an editorial responding to State Public Defender Michael Barrett’s ploy to assign Governor Nixon a case of an indigent individual, Sen. Dixon reasserts the importance of a defendant to have legal counsel.  He notes that it is important for everyone “to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dixon’s editorial highlights some of the legislative efforts to address problems within the public defender system.  Nonetheless, he admits that the public defender system is still woefully underfunded and understaffed.  Dixon, therefore, is calling for Governor Nixon to call a special session to run concurrently with the September veto session to address the problems in the public defender system.

It appears pressure is continuing to mount on Governor Nixon to take action regarding the public defender system. Stay tuned!