Columbus, Mississippi hires first dedicated public defender for municipal court

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) – The Columbus City Council has hired its first dedicated public defender for Municipal Court.

Councilman selected Columbus attorney Amanda Meadows on Tuesday for the position by a 4-2 margin.

The Commercial Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/2gcyLmL ) Meadows operates her own firm and has practiced law for 12 years. She will earn $25,751 as the city’s public defender. Municipal Court convenes about once a week.

Meadows will represent defendants – most of whom are charged with misdemeanors – who can’t afford an attorney and may not know their legal options.

City Attorney Jeff Turnage said Columbus created the position to mitigate the potential for future lawsuits. He notes the American Civil Liberties Union is suing municipalities nationwide because indigent defendants might not be adequately represented or they’re staying in jail too long.

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Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com

 

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