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Public defender: Fees for pleas lead to unequal justice

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Criminal defendants in three central Florida counties often face a stark choice, a public defender says: Pay hundreds of dollars in fees that help fund the prosecutors’ office, as a condition of reaching a plea deal, or face trial and risk stiffer punishment. Now public defender Rex Dimmig says that the practice creates unequal treatment for the criminal justice system’s poorest defendants. “My office only represents indigent people, and they ought to be entitled to the same punishment for the…

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