ACLU: Bid to fix Idaho defense system falls short

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 3, 2014 at 5:11 p.m.



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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho says lawmaker attempts to fix Idaho's public defender system don't go far enough.

The House Judiciary and Rules Committee on Monday passed a bill to create a public defense commission.

Rep. Darrell Bolz, a Caldwell Republican, says the commission's duties will include making rules and implementing training for public defenders.

Legal experts have warned that Idaho's public defense system is likely unconstitutional, citing high case loads and low funding for contract public defenders.

Bolz says his bill isn't the final solution, but is a good start in getting Idaho's public defense system back on track.

But Monica Hopkins, the executive director of the ACLU, says the bill isn't enough to protect Idaho from a lawsuit.

The bill now goes to the full House.

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The Associated Press

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