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Public Defender Lawsuit (2019)

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: Newsmagazine

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2019-08-30

Duration: 00:08:12

Subjects: Southern Poverty Law Center | LAWSUITS | Public defenders | Criminal justice, Administration of


  • Williams, Natasha Host
  • Crews, Keith Editor
  • Israel, Jacob Interviewee
  • Johnson, Jamila Interviewee
  • Bunton, Derwyn Interviewee


This segment from the August 30, 2019, episode of the series “Louisiana: The State We’re In” features Natasha Williams’ report on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s class action lawsuit against Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Public Defender Board. Williams reports that the lawsuit alleges that the state’s underfunded public defender system fails to protect the rights of people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. She interviews: Jacob Israel, a former indigent defendant; Jamila Johnson, an attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center; and Derwyn Bunton, the chief public defender in Orleans Parish. At the end of the report, Williams reads a statement from the Governor’s Office.