As many long time listeners know, assigned and contract systems are wrought with major issues. From pay, to qualifications and a general lack of independence, the American Bar Association recommends that where caseloads are sufficiently high, the private bar should subsidize a full time Public Defender Office, but what should be done in places where there is not enough money, political will, or caseloads to justify a Public Defender Office? What's the best way to deliver indigent defense services?

Today on the show, Hunter sat down with Jim Bethke, Director, Managed Assigned Counsel Office, Bexar County, Texas, to talk about one potential solution. A managed assigned counsel system (MAC) attempts to provide some quality control and oversight to correct for the obvious issues with a fully assigned or contract counsel system.

Some point to places like Massachusetts or places in Texas for proof of the MACs effectiveness. Others would say that ultimately, a MAC is just another of many reforms that stops places from recognizing that they must establish a full time Public Defender Office if they are going to meet their 6th Amendment obligations.

Either way, this is a great conversation for those interested in learning from Jim's experience working for more than 20 years helping to shape Public Defense in Texas!