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Thursday, March 8, 2007
On March 2, the State Public Defender Commission backed off of a threat to stop accepting new clients in order to reduce caseloads. Missouri public defenders carry an average of 305 cases – well above the maximum 235 cases set by law. Missouri ranks 49th among the states in per capita spending on public defenders. Because of the heavy caseload, public defenders say they often are unable to provide their clients with adequate representation.