Hugh Thompson, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice, says the state needs to do more to help those who cannot afford an attorney. In his State of the Judiciary address Tuesday, Thompson said Georgia’s judicial system is strong for those who can afford a lawyer, but limited for low income Georgians. “Most of us grew up saying the Pledge of Allegiance at school, in which we promised ‘liberty and justice for all.’ I don’t believe we ever meant, ‘liberty and justice only for those who can afford it,” said Thompson.
Georgia does not have enough defense lawyers to handle new death penalty cases according to the Public Defender Standards Council. It is requesting a special session of the legislature to address funding for the indigent defense system.