Today, Hunter spoke with Richard Mauro, Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Legal Defender Association, to talk all things Utah Public Defense.

Not even a decade ago, Utah and Pennsylvania stood as the last two states who provided exactly zero dollars towards Public Defense. As expected, this created a patchwork system in the state that left places like Utah and Salt Lake County able to afford full time public defense offices while the more rural areas of the state were forced to rely on the cheapest flat rate contract imaginable.

As a result of these flat rate contracts, a culture of met and plea arose. Surprisingly, it was the absence of appeals, despite countless stories of ineffective assistance of counsel, that drove people to start evaluating Public Defense in Utah. As alarm bells started going off, the Sixth Amendment Center’s 2015 report made even more issues come to light.

By the end of this episode, you will have a clear understanding of what has gone right, wrong, and what sparked the change in Utah Public Defense.