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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Miller
State v. Leonard Peart
Citation:621 So. 2d 780 (La. 1993)
Peart (defendant) was charged with armed robbery, aggravated rape, aggravated burglary, attempted armed robbery, and first-degree murder. Because Peart was indigent, the trial court appointed Rick Teissier, a public defender, to represent him. Teissier had an excessive caseload, handling 70 active caseloads at the time he was assigned to Peart’s case. The Orleans Indigent Defender Program (OIDP) only had enough funds to hire three investigators to provide assistance in more than 7,000 cases per year, and there were no funds for expert witnesses.
The trial court found Teissier was not able to provide his clients with reasonably effective assistance of counsel because of the conditions affecting his work. The judge ordered Teissier’s caseload reduced, and ordered the legislature to provide funding for an improved library and for an investigator for Teissier. The judge also ordered the legislature to provide funds to OIDP to pay for additional attorneys, secretaries, paralegals, law clerks, investigators, and expert witnesses.
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