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Lawsuit: Weber County defenders overworked

Lawsuit: Weber County defenders overworked



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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- A lawsuit claims Weber County does not adequately fund public defense attorneys and reduces their ability to represent indigent defendants.

The Standard-Examiner of Ogden says the federal lawsuit was filed Jan. 28 in federal court on behalf of a defendant in a drug case.

The lawsuit says the county is violating the 6th and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution by not providing funding for defense attorneys to conduct investigations, use expert witnesses or hire paralegals.

Weber County budgeted about $1 million for public defenders for each of the last three years, less than half what is budgeted for prosecutors, the lawsuit says.

Officials with the Weber County Commission and public defenders did not return calls to the newspaper.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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