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Counties call for state to set up public defense system

ALBANY -- It has been 51 years since a landmark court ruling required courts to provide counsel for defendants who cannot afford an attorney.

To mark the occasion, the New York State Defenders Association joined several county across the state in calling for the Governor to set up a state-run public defense system. Some counties have already passed resolutions saying that it would bring much needed mandate relief.

Executive Director John Gradess says this service is provided at a state level in most other states.
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