The state's first public defender office for capital murder cases is now open in Lubbock. As NewsChannel 11 first told you last summer, the Lubbock based office will encompass over 80 counties, from the tip of the panhandle down to San Angelo.
Typically, one death penalty case costs counties and taxpayers anywhere from $150,000 to $500,000. Now, the public defenders office will pick up those costs.
"We'll be providing the two attorneys that are required by statue," said Jack Stoffregen, Chief of the West Texas Region Public Defender for Capital Murder Cases. "The mitigation that's required by statue as well as a fact investigator. "
The office is funded for the next four years by state grant funds. Once that money runs out, all participating counties will pick up a portion of the cost. For Lubbock county, that will be more than a $144,000.
The office started taking death penalty cases this month.
|Courts & Crime|