2000 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B; Appropriations
By: Representative Blackmon
House Bill 1375
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 25-32-1, 25-32-3, 25-32-5, 25-32-7, 25-32-9, 25-32-15 AND 25-32-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO TRANSFER THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PUBLIC DEFENDER OFFICES TO THE PUBLIC DEFENDER COMMISSION; TO PROVIDE THAT PUBLIC DEFENDER OFFICES SHALL BE FUNDED BY THE STATE; TO REVISE THE APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL FOR THE INDIGENT; TO CODIFY SECTION 25-32-18, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE CERTAIN COUNTIES TO SUPPLEMENT THE SALARY OF PUBLIC DEFENDERS; TO CODIFY SECTION 25-32-20, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE APPOINTMENT OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS; TO REPEAL SECTION 25-32-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE REPEAL OF SECTIONS 25-32-1 THROUGH 25-32-19; TO AMEND SECTION 25-32-39, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDER COMMISSION; TO AMEND SECTION 25-32-47, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE CONFLICT PROVISIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 25-32-49, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REMOVE THE AUTHORITY OF PUBLIC DEFENDERS TO PARTICIPATE IN CERTAIN ACTIVITIES; TO AMEND SECTION 25-32-53, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE DUTIES OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION; TO AMEND SECTION 25-32-65, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY; TO AMEND SECTION 99-15-17, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE SHALL PAY FOR COUNSEL FOR INDIGENTS; TO REPEAL SECTION 21, CHAPTER 575, LAWS OF 1998, WHICH PROVIDES FOR A CONDITIONAL EFFECTIVE PROVISION FOR THE MISSISSIPPI STATEWIDE PUBLIC DEFENDER SYSTEM ACT OF 1998; TO REPEAL SECTIONS 25-32-31, 25-32-33, 25-32-35, 25-32-41, 25-32-43, 25-32-45, 25-32-57, 25-32-59 AND 25-32-61, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES PORTIONS OF THE MISSISSIPPI STATEWIDE PUBLIC DEFENDER SYSTEM ACT OF 1998; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-32-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-1. Should the Public Defender Commission created by Section 25-32-37 determine by order spread upon its minutes that a county or counties in the same circuit court district or an entire circuit court district have a sufficient number of indigent defendant cases to establish an office of public defender, the Public Defender Commission is authorized and empowered, in its discretion, to establish the office, provide office space, personnel and funding for the office, and to perform any and all functions necessary for the efficient operation of such an office to the end that adequate legal defense for indigent persons accused of crime shall be provided at every critical stage of their cases as an alternative to court appointed counsel. Said order shall specify whether the public defender shall be full-time or part-time.
SECTION 2. Section 25-32-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-3. (1) When the office of public defender is established, the circuit judge or the senior circuit judge, if there be more than one (1) circuit judge, shall appoint a practicing attorney to serve the district as public defender until the end of the term of office of the district attorney and thereafter for a term of four (4) years and said term shall coincide with the term of the district attorney. Such appointee shall be selected from a list of two (2) or more attorneys recommended by the Public Defender Commission. In the event a vacancy shall occur in the office of the public defender, the circuit judge or the senior circuit judge, if there be more than one (1) circuit judge, shall appoint another person to serve as public defender until the end of the regular term of office.
(2) Assistant public defenders may be authorized by the Public Defender Commission. The public defender shall appoint all assistant public defenders. Such assistant public defenders may be compensated in such an amount as may be authorized by the Public Defender Commission; provided, however, that in no case may such assistant public defenders receive compensation in an amount greater than that received by the public defender.
SECTION 3. Section 25-32-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-5. Compensation for the public defender shall be fixed by the Public Defender Commission; provided, however, the compensation for a public defender, who shall be full-time, representing an entire circuit court district shall not be less than the compensation of the district attorney, the compensation for a public defender representing one (1) county shall not be less than the compensation of the county prosecuting attorney and the compensation for a public defender representing two (2) or more counties, but less than the entire circuit court district, shall not be less than the aggregate of the compensation for county prosecuting attorneys of the counties served, but in no event to exceed the compensation of the district attorney. No full-time public defender or full-time assistant public defenders shall engage nor be associated with any person in the private practice of law. Part-time public defenders or part-time assistant public defenders may engage in the private practice of the law as long as such practice does not relate to the prosecution of criminal matters.
SECTION 4. Section 25-32-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-7. The public defender shall be provided with office space, secretarial assistance, and all reasonable expenses of operating the office, at least equal to or more than the county prosecuting attorney, or the district attorney if the public defender represents the entire circuit court district. The compensation and expenses of the public defender's office shall be paid from the state general fund or any special fund created for this purpose. The funds shall be paid upon allowance by the Public Defender Commission by order spread upon the minutes of the board.
SECTION 5. Section 25-32-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-9. (1) When any person shall be arrested and charged with a felony, * * * then the arresting authority shall afford such person an opportunity to sign an affidavit stating that such person is an indigent and unable to employ counsel. Upon the signing of such affidavit by such person, the public defender shall represent said person unless the right to counsel be waived by such person. Provided further, a statement shall be executed by the alleged indigent, under oath, listing all assets available to the indigent for the payment of attorney's fees, including the ownership of any property, real or personal, and setting out therein the alleged indigent's employment status, number of dependents, income from any source, the ability of his parents or spouse to provide an attorney's fee, and any other information which might prove or disprove a finding of indigency. The affidavit and statement shall be a part of the record in the case and shall be subject to review by the appropriate court. Based on review of the affidavit, statement or other appropriate evidence, if the appropriate court finds that the defendant is not indigent, said court shall terminate the representation of the defendant by the public defender. If the court finds that the defendant is indigent, said court shall enter an order appointing the public defender. The clerk of the court entering such an order for appointment shall cause copies of same to be delivered forthwith to the commission and the office of the public defender, and shall at once communicate the contents of the order to such other person or attorney in the county where the case is docketed as the public defender may have designated to receive such orders, all to the end that the person or attorney so designated shall learn of the order as soon as possible after it has been entered.
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(2) The accused shall have such representation available at every critical stage of the proceedings against him where a substantial right may be affected.
(3) The court may require an accused, to the extent of his ability, to compensate or reimburse the commission for all or part of the reasonable value of the representation he has received, plus any sums reasonably and necessarily expended in the course and scope of such representation. In making any such order, the court shall consider and give priority to the victim's rights to restitution, compensation or damages.
SECTION 6. Section 25-32-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-15. The office of public defender may be terminated, in the discretion of the Public Defender Commission, by entering an order * * * six (6) months prior to the expiration of the term of the public defender. Such termination shall be effective at the end of the term of the public defender.
SECTION 7. The following shall be codified as Section 25-32-18, Mississippi Code of 1972:
25-32-18. The board of supervisors of any county having a population in excess of two hundred thousand (200,000) according to the federal decennial census of 1970 shall contribute a sum equal to Four Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($4,500.00) per year, payable monthly, to supplement the salary of the public defender of that county, provided that he serves full time; and shall contribute a sum equal to Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) per year, payable monthly, per full-time legal assistant to supplement the salary of each full-time legal assistant to the public defender of that county.
The board of supervisors of any Class 1 county bordering on the Gulf of Mexico and having two (2) judicial districts shall contribute a sum equal to Four Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($4,500.00) per year, payable monthly, to supplement the salary of the public defender of that county provided that he serves full time; and shall contribute a sum equal to Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) per year, payable monthly, to supplement the salary of each full-time legal assistant to the public defender of that county.
SECTION 8. Section 25-32-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-19. The public defender and the board of supervisors may cooperate with any individual or public agency, whether state or federal, or with any institution of higher learning of the State of Mississippi, to obtain by gift, grant or otherwise any financial, professional, investigatory or research or other assistance; provided, however, that any grants or any financial assistance whatever for the purpose herein set out shall be paid over to the Public Defender Commission and administered by it for the purposes herein set forth. The commission shall have the authority to use any financial assistance or grants to extend and expand the facilities of the office.
SECTION 9. The following shall be codified as Section 25-32-20, Mississippi Code of 1972:
25-32-20. (1) Any public defender may appoint a full-time criminal investigator.
(2) The public defenders of the Third, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Twentieth Circuit Court Districts may appoint one (1) additional full-time criminal investigator for a total of two (2) full-time criminal investigators.
(3) The public defenders of the First, Second, Fourth, Seventh and Nineteenth Circuit Court Districts may appoint two (2) additional full-time criminal investigators for a total of three (3) full-time criminal investigators.
(4) No public defender or assistant public defender shall accept any private employment, civil or criminal, in any matter investigated by such criminal investigators.
(5) The full and complete compensation for all public duties rendered by said criminal investigators shall be not less than Seventeen Thousand Dollars ($17,000.00) per annum, nor more than Thirty-five Thousand Dollars ($35,000.00) per annum, to be determined at the discretion of the public defender based upon the qualifications, education and experience of the criminal investigator, plus necessary travel and other expenses, to be paid in accordance with Section 25-32-7 provided, however, the maximum salary under this subsection for a criminal investigator who has a law degree may be supplemented by the public defender from other available funds, but not to exceed the maximum salary for a legal assistant to a public defender.
(6) Any criminal investigator may be designated by the public defender to attend a Commission approved training program for defense investigators. The total expenses associated with attendance by criminal investigators at a training program shall be paid out of the funds of the appropriate public defender.
SECTION 10. Section 25-32-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provides for the repeal of Sections 25-32-1 through 25-32-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is repealed.
SECTION 11. Section 25-32-39, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-39. The commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To appoint an executive director who shall be currently licensed to practice law in the State of Mississippi and shall have been * * * licensed to practice law in any state for at least four (4) years prior to the appointment, and who shall be knowledgeable and experienced in the field of criminal law, and to charge the executive director with the performance of all reasonable and appropriate administrative and related duties;
(b) In its discretion, to delegate to the executive director such of the powers and duties, in whole or in part, as are provided in this chapter to be performed by the commission;
(c) To implement and ensure the enjoyment of the right to counsel and the right to the effective assistance of counsel secured to persons by the Constitution of the United States of America and by the Constitution of the State of Mississippi;
(d) To recommend to the Supreme Court and the Legislature policies and standards for a comprehensive and effective public defender system throughout the State of Mississippi, including, but not limited to, standards for determining who qualifies as an indigent person;
(e) To recommend to the Supreme Court and the Legislature policies and standards for the appointment, compensation and payment of reasonable litigation expenses of competent counsel in state postconviction proceedings brought by indigent prisoners whose convictions and sentences have become final for state law purposes, to recommend optimal standards of competency for the appointment of such counsel * * *.
(f) To establish the standards for determining which counties require full-time district defender offices, which, if any, require and can best be served by part-time contract district defenders, and which, if any, require and can effectively be served by a system of court-appointment of private practicing lawyers, and to review the standards so established and the needs of each county so assessed from time to time as may be appropriate, but not less often than every fifth year beginning with July 1, 1998;
(g) To maintain within its office a conflicts division and an appellate division and to appoint a qualified person to direct and perform the functions of each;
(h) To establish policies and standards for the organization and operation of its office and of the district defenders' offices throughout the state, including, but not limited to:
(i) Distribution to and among the several district defender offices of the financial resources as are made available for its office and providing, as well, for a reasonable allocation of such resources to the commission and its offices and staff;
(ii) Establishment of optimal qualifications for all attorneys particularly within or employed by the Statewide Public Defender System, whether as full-time staff attorneys, assistant state defenders, assistant district defenders, part-time contract defenders or specially appointed defenders;
(iii) Establishment of optimal standards of experience for paralegals, investigators and other personnel assigned to such offices and to particular cases;
(iv) Establishment of optimal standards for staffing, caseloads and support personnel and facilities for each district defender's office; and
(v) Establishment of employee personnel policies including compensation, salary and benefit schedules for the office of the state defender and of each district defender;
(i) To recommend to the senior circuit judge of each district at least two (2) candidates for appointment as a district defender for each circuit court district in accordance with Section 25-32-3;
(j) To evaluate the performance of each district defender, assistant district defender, part-time attorney, contract attorney, private attorney assigned to represent indigent persons, and all other personnel of the public defender system, and to have and provide for quality control, personnel evaluation and review, * * * and to have and exercise such powers as may be reasonably necessary to enhance the quality and quantity of services delivered and to address and correct deficiencies;
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(k) To maintain for each county and for each circuit court district a current list of private attorneys who are competent in the defense of criminal charges and are willing to accept appointments for individual representations, * * * including the defense of capital cases, and who meet any other qualifications established by his office, and to these ends:
(i) To notify once a year all licensed attorneys residing in Mississippi by publication or otherwise that a list is being prepared and maintained of attorneys willing to represent indigent persons;
(ii) To afford attorneys notified under this section a reasonable time to submit the information requested by the commission;
(iii) To prepare, certify and update annually a list of such attorneys for each county and for each circuit court district;
(iv) To prepare, certify and update annually a separate list of attorneys competent and willing to accept appointment in capital cases for each county and for each circuit court district; and
(v) To recommend attorneys from this list for individual representations * * *;
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(l) To prepare and approve the annual budget for the operation of the Statewide Public Defender System and for each district defender's office throughout the state, and to administer and oversee the implementation of each such budget;
(m) To compile and disseminate statutes, court opinions, legal research, articles and other information to district defenders and private attorneys participating in the Statewide Public Defender System;
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(n) To convene conferences, continuing legal education programs and training seminars or planning or strategy meetings related to the Statewide Public Defender System, and to attend or send any persons to any such conferences, programs, seminars or meetings * * *;
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(o) To cooperate with any individual or public agency, whether state or federal, or with any law school, public or private, or with any institution of higher learning of the State of Mississippi, to obtain by gift, grant or otherwise any financial, professional, investigatory, training, educational or research or other assistance; provided, however, that any grants or any financial assistance whatever for the purpose herein set out shall be paid over to the commission and administered by the commission consistent with the provisions of this chapter;
(p) To receive, allocate and disburse funds appropriated for the operation of the Statewide Public Defender System pursuant to guidelines established by its office, in cooperation with and after consultation with the Administrative Office of Courts, and to reallocate available resources within the Statewide Public Defender System as may be necessary to carry out and implement more effectively the purposes and policies of this chapter;
(q) To approve the purchase, lease, rental and use of office space, equipment, or personnel and the sharing of same between and among district defenders and between and among the counties within the several circuit court districts;
(r) To provide to the Administrative Office of Courts and the Mississippi Judicial Advisory Study Committee any and all information, reports, statistics and other forms of assistance as may from time to time be requested or otherwise required by law;
(s) To present to the Governor and to the Legislature within ninety (90) days after the end of the fiscal year an annual report on the operation of the Statewide Public Defender System, and recommendations for improvement;
(t) To appear before and provide assistance to, and make recommendations to the Legislature and other relevant bodies regarding matters related to the public defender system, including, but not limited to, recommendations regarding the phasing in of the statewide public defender system, the transition from the current county based system of indigent defense * * *;
(u) To maintain records of the operation of the Statewide Public Defender System, including, but not limited to, the following:
(i) Detailed descriptions of the organization of each district defender's office;
(ii) Caseload of each district defender's office, broken down by counties and including cases assigned to private attorneys;
(iii) Budgets and actual expenditures of the office of the commission and each district defender's office;
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(iv) Use of part-time contract attorneys; and
(v) Assignment of cases to private attorneys;
(v) To employ and set the compensation of the executive director, his assistants and other employees as are necessary to enable the commission to exercise its powers and perform its duties;
(w) To purchase professional liability insurance to cover and protect all persons within the Statewide Public Defender System;
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(x) To adopt and promulgate reasonable and necessary rules and regulations, formally or informally, as may be appropriate, to administer the Statewide Public Defender System, to perform its duties and powers hereunder, and to implement the provisions of this chapter; and to propose forms for the use of the courts, the commissions and other persons with powers and duties hereunder;
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(y) To delegate to the district defenders in whole or in part the exercise and performance of powers and duties set forth in this section where and to the extent that the commission determines such powers and duties are suitable for exercise and performance at the district level;
(z) In the exercise and performance of any and all powers and duties provided by this chapter, to cooperate fully with, to seek the advice, assistance and support of, the Administrative Office of Courts and the Mississippi Judicial Advisory Study Committee;
(aa) In the exercise and performance of any and all powers and duties provided by this chapter, to establish priorities for the provision of counsel for indigent persons by reference to the stage of proceedings against such persons and the nature and importance of the charges against such persons, and to do so by reference to the availability of financial, professional and other resources, and to adjust such priorities from time to time as may be appropriate; and
(bb) In cooperation with and with the assistance of the Administrative Office of Courts, to develop policies and procedures for the transition from the current county-based system of indigent defense to the Statewide Public Defender System authorized and contemplated by this chapter, including a timetable for phasing in and implementing the provisions of this chapter and for staffing and funding the offices created and provided herein, and to implement same.
SECTION 12. Section 25-32-47, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-47. (1) The duty of vigilance, investigation, assessment and judgment regarding conflicts of interest rests upon each attorney participating in the Statewide Public Defender System, with the ultimate responsibility being shared equally and independently by the court and by the commission. If either the commission or the court determines that a conflict of interest exists between an indigent person and the district defender, the commission shall recommend to the appropriate court the reassignment of representation of any such person to another attorney within or without the Statewide Public Defender System with respect to whom no conflict exists.
(2) Unless all affected persons give their informed consent to representation under the limitations and conditions provided in subsection (3) of this section, a district defender may not represent an indigent person if the representation would constitute a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest exists if there is a substantial risk that the district defender's representation of the indigent person would be materially and adversely affected by the district defender's duties to another person.
(3) (a) A defender may represent an indigent person notwithstanding a conflict of interest prohibited by subsection (2) of this section if each affected person gives informed consent to the defender's representation. Informed consent requires that the person have reasonably adequate information about the risks and advantages of such representation to that person;
(b) Notwithstanding each affected person's consent, a defender may not represent an indigent person if:
(i) The defender represents an opposing party in the same proceeding;
(ii) One or more of the persons is legally incapable of giving consent; or
(iii) Special circumstances render it unlikely that the defender will be able to provide adequate representation to one or more of the persons.
(4) (a) If a conflict of interest is determined by the commission or by the court to exist between the district defender and the indigent person or if for any other reason the commission or the court determines that the district defender cannot or should not represent the indigent person, the commission shall recommend to the appropriate court that the indigent person be represented by a district defender from another area or by a private attorney appointed for that purpose;
(b) Subject to caseload restrictions and conflict of interest considerations, the court may notify the commission to represent the indigent or provide representation for the indigent.
(5) In the event of conflicts, the commission may recommend to the appropriate court that it appoints a private attorney who is competent in the defense of criminal charges and/or is included in a list of volunteers who have agreed to accept such appointments as provided in Section 25-32-39 who shall be compensated and be reimbursed for expenses as provided in Section 99-15-17, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(6) The commission shall attempt to equalize the appointments for all attorneys on the list, but this chapter does not deprive the commission of the power to recommend particularly qualified and willing attorneys in unusual or complex matters.
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SECTION 13. Section 25-32-49, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-49. (1) The members of the commission, the executive director, members of the commission staff, each district defender, and each deputy district public defender shall not:
(a) Receive any funds, services or other thing of monetary value, directly or indirectly, for the representation of an indigent person pursuant to court appointment, except the compensation authorized by law; or
(b) Refer any person, indigent or otherwise, who contacts the district defender to any other attorney, except pursuant to guidelines established by the commission.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to bar a prosecution or other disciplinary action against any attorney within the Statewide Public Defender System who commits a violation of law or of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, or one or more provisions thereof, as they exist and are enforced in the State of Mississippi.
(3) Neither the executive director, nor a district defender, nor any other full-time assistant or employee of the commission or any district defender shall engage nor be associated with any person in the private practice of law. Part-time assistant defenders, contract assistant defenders and persons on volunteer appointment lists may engage in the private practice of law as long as such practice does not relate to the prosecution of criminal matters.
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SECTION 14. Section 25-32-53, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-53. (1) There is hereby created within the office of the commission an appellate division which shall function under the direction and supervision of the commission.
(2) The appellate division may perfect and prosecute direct appeals, petitions for rehearing, petitions for writs of certiorari, and petitions for post-conviction relief, and perform such other duties as the commission shall direct.
(3) The appellate division may provide assistance and counsel to a district defender regarding the handling of matters and issues that may be unusually difficult or complex or that may likely affect or become a part of any appeal to the same extent the attorney general is authorized to provide assistance to the district attorneys in the prosecution of offenders.
SECTION 15. Section 25-32-65, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-65. (1) The Statewide Public Defender System created by this chapter in all of its units and features shall be funded by appropriations made by the Legislature to the commission and by funds from any other source not prohibited by law.
(2) The board of supervisors of any county may supplement the resources available for financing the defense of indigent persons within that county at such times and in such sums as it determines to be reasonable and necessary * * *. Any such sums shall be delivered to the commission for administration, although disbursement shall be restricted to funding the defense of indigent persons in that county.
(3) The commission may accept fees and reimbursement of expenses if an attorney employed by or participating with this system is appointed as counsel for an indigent by a court of a jurisdiction, state or federal, other than the State of Mississippi.
(4) All duties imposed upon the commission, the district defenders and all other personnel of the Statewide Public Defender System, and all powers conferred upon such persons, are made subject to the availability of financial and other resources.
SECTION 16. Section 99-15-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-15-17. The compensation for counsel for indigents appointed as provided in Section 99-15-15, shall be approved and allowed by the appropriate judge and in any one (1) case may not exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1000.00) for representation in circuit court whether on appeal or originating in said court. Provided, however, if said case is not appealed to or does not originate in a court of record, the maximum compensation shall not exceed Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) for any one (1) case, the amount of such compensation to be approved by a judge of the chancery court, county court or circuit court in the county where the case arises. Provided, however, in a capital case two (2) attorneys may be appointed, and the compensation may not exceed Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) per case. If the case is appealed to the State Supreme Court by counsel appointed by the judge, the allowable fee for services on appeal shall not exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per case. In addition, the judge shall allow reimbursement of actual expenses. The attorney or attorneys so appointed shall itemize the time spent in defending said indigents together with an itemized statement of expenses of such defense, and shall present same to the appropriate judge. The fees and expenses as allowed by the appropriate judge shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of the General Fund of the State or any special fund created for this purpose.
SECTION 17. Section 21, Chapter 575, Laws of 1998, which provides a conditional effective provision for the Mississippi Statewide Public Defender System Act of 1998, is repealed on July 1, 2000.
SECTION 18. Sections 25-32-31, 25-32-33, 25-32-35, 25-32-41, 25-32-43, 25-32-45, 25-32-57, 25-32-59 and 25-32-61, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provide for the declaration of purpose, construction of the Mississippi Statewide Public Defender System Act of 1998, provide powers and duties of the commission, which create district public defenders and provide their powers and duties and provide certain indigent representation provisions, is repealed on July 2, 2000.
SECTION 19. Section 17 of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2000, and the remainder of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 2, 2000.