Indigent Defense Commission

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Indigent Defense Commission

The chief justice of Nevada's Supreme Court has urged lawmakers to reform the state's bail laws and improve representation of indigents. Chief Justice Michael Cherry says it's especially important in rural areas where defendants who can't afford their own lawyer often are jailed longer than their urban counterparts while awaiting trial. Cherry said in his State of the Judiciary address to the Legislature last week that indigents can count on a public defender to provide prompt representation in most urban areas. But in rural areas, he says delays can cause witness memories to fade and cases to grow cold. Cherry called on lawmakers to create an Indigent Defense Commission to push for improvements in the system. Northeastern Nevada lawyers and their staff were honored at a Champions of Legal Justice Banquet in Elko last fall for efforts to provide indigent and low-cost assistance to qualified participants.