Md. cut back on funding criminal defense for poor

BALTIMORE (AP) — A U.S. Justice Department study finds that Maryland taxpayer-funded spending on criminal defense for the poor fell more sharply than the national rate.

The Daily Record of Baltimore (http://bit.ly/1lD17hp ) reported in its Friday edition that Maryland’s spending on indigent defense dropped 7.9 percent from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2012, compared with a national decrease of 4.3 percent.

Maryland Public Defender Paul DeWolfe says his office has felt the impact of budget cuts in the form of shrinking support staff and heavy caseloads for the agency’s 580 attorneys.

The study says Maryland spent just under $88 million on indigent defense in fiscal 2012. That’s down from $95.4 million in fiscal 2008.

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Information from: The Daily Record of Baltimore, http://www.mddailyrecord.com

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