2003 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Ford
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-32-71, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH CREATES THE MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC DEFENDER TASK FORCE AND PRESCRIBES ITS DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES; TO EXTEND THE DATE OF REPEAL FOR ONE YEAR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-32-71, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-32-71. (1) There is created the Mississippi Public Defender Task Force which shall be composed of eleven (11) members as follows:
(a) The President of the Mississippi Public Defender Association, or his designee;
(b) The President of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association, or his designee;
(c) A representative of the Administrative Office of Courts;
(d) A representative of the Mississippi Supreme Court;
(e) A representative of the Conference of Circuit Judges;
(f) A representative of the Mississippi Attorney General's Office;
(g) A representative of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors;
(h) The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, or his designee;
(i) The Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, or his designee;
(j) The Chairman of the House Judiciary En Banc Committee, or his designee;
(k) The Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, or his designee.
(2) At its first meeting, the task force shall elect a chairman and vice chairman from its membership and shall adopt rules for transacting its business and keeping records. Members of the task force shall receive a per diem in the amount provided in Section 25-3-69 for each day engaged in the business of the task force. Members of the task force other than the legislative members shall receive reimbursement for travel expenses incurred while engaged in official business of the task force in accordance with Section 25-3-41 and the legislative members of the task force shall receive the expense allowance provided for in Section 5-1-47.
(3) The duties of the task force shall be to:
(a) Make a comprehensive study of the needs by circuit court districts for state-supported indigent defense counsel, examining existing public defender programs. Reports shall be provided to the Legislature each year at least one (1) month before the convening of the regular session.
(b) Examine and study approaches taken by other states in the implementation and costs of state-supported indigent criminal cases.
(c) To study the relationship between presiding circuit court judges and the appointment of criminal indigent defense counsel.
(4) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2004.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.