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Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 3:38am

Lawsuit Aims To Halt Ga. Prosecutions

The deep budget problems of the state’s public defender system will be front-and-center Thursday with a court hearing on a lawsuit.

The complaint says about 300 defendants in northeast Georgia not able to afford their own lawyers are "left to languish in jail" because they are not provided legal counsel.

A judge will decide whether to halt prosecutions for the hundreds of cases until attorneys are provided.

Supporters of the lawsuit say a decision to stop prosecutions would mark the first time such a move was made in Georgia and one of the first decisions of its type in the nation.