Collin County Targets Attorney Pay for Indigent Defendants, Citing Costs Out of Their Control

MCKINNEY -- Trying to get a better handle on costs, Collin County commissioners are now scrutinizing payments to attorneys who represent indigent defendants. Costs to defend people who can't afford their own attorney have more than doubled in the last 10 years, with the amounts regularly exceeding the funds budgeted. Last year, Collin County paid more than $9.2 million for indigent criminal defense cases, a 17 percent increase from the previous year. And that spike doesn't even include $300-per-hour payments approved for the special prosecutors handling the criminal case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Their fees fall under the same rules as those who represent indigent defendants and were approved under an exception clause.  Continue reading...

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