Criminal defendants who are too poor to hire their own defense attorneys will have to pay $50 for public-defender representation under an ordinance approved unanimously by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
First the good news. In 2011-2012, the San Diego County Department of Animal Services (DAS) recorded its highest “live release rate” in six years, with 71 percent of the animals received by the county’s shelters leaving alive.
Billy Culbertson had just finished a long, overnight shift at the emergency room. The trauma nurse parked his car in his assigned spot at an Escondido apartment complex. The next time Culbertson saw his 1998 Nissan Sentra it was covered in fingerprinting dust as part of a homicide / officer-involved-shooting investigation.
As fall arrives, the court has begun shutting down outlying courtrooms, shortening hours, laying off some employees and furloughing others. But the Superior Court did not cut one line item: nearly $1 million per year in transportation allowances set aside for judges and executive managers.
At the end of October, defense attorneys representing four Somali men in Southern California will travel to the Horn of Africa to depose witnesses whose testimony could poke holes in terrorism charges leveled against their clients.