Why are public defenders often worse than private lawyers?

Public defenders are paid by the state to represent indigent people. Indigent people are generally among the most powerless and helpless in society. Most people accused of crimes are guilty (not all, but most). When you combine these facts with the fact that public defenders are not paid well to begin with and are overworked on top of that, you can see how easy it is for a public defender to start phoning it in and to keep phoning it in. Not every public defender does this. Some public defenders are exceptionally inspiring models of long-suffering integrity (but that’s what makes an exceptional).

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