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Resource ID: #25690
Subject: Criminal Justice System
Source: Phoenix New Times
Date: 2012-07-09



Maricopa County, Arizona, has faced economic hurdles in paying for representation of indigent defendants charged with capital crimes. In recent years, the county supplanted other jurisdictions as the unofficial “death penalty capital” of the United States. “Grim Reaper” describes how a prominent capital criminal-defense attorney committed serious ethical and potentially criminal violations over a period of five years, during which time he collected more than $2.4 million from the county, including payment for work that he never had performed. in the wake of publication, law enforcement initiated a still-ongoing criminal investigation (as did the State Bar of Arizona), and the county's presiding judge announced sweeping and immediate changes in how criminal-defense attorneys representing indigent clients would be vetted, selected and paid.

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