LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - A criminal justice task force has expanded a public defenders office for cases where prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Lubbock County Courts Coordinator David Slayton said the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense voted Wednesday in Austin to approve a one-year, $2.2 million grant that will expand the program by 55 counties.
The office in Lubbock opened two years ago with 85 eligible counties in West Texas. The additional counties are in far West Texas and south Texas.
Slayton said the task force, citing budget concerns, decided to phase in 100 more counties over the next three years.
Texas is the nation's most active death penalty state and has been criticized for not providing adequate defense in capital cases.
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