A Miami Herald investigation of the Broward County legal system revealed that county judges only hire a select group of private lawyers to represent poor people who can't afford their own attorneys. "Unlike other South Florida courts that evenly spread the work to a large pool of qualified lawyers, Broward judges maintain absolute discretion over who gets appointed when the public defender's office can't represent a defendant because of a conflict." The Herald discovered that judges often select their friends or election contributors to be public defenders.
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