U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley says Cook County’s public defender has started a conversation across the country about the costs of public defense.
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley says Cook County’s public defender has started a conversation across the country about the costs of public defense. Quigley has written a letter of support to Cook County Public Defender Abishi (ah-BEE’-shy) Cunningham. Earlier this month, Cunningham said his office can no longer afford to handle dozens of capital cases. Public defenders filed motions in about 60 of them, asking judges to either take the death penalty off the table or appoint private attorneys. Quigley says he was a criminal defense attorney for nearly a decade and tried more than 200 cases. He says he "experienced the negative ramifications of underfunding." Quigley says he’ll urge Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to address the issue. ______ Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.