Friday, July 25 2014 2:48 AM EDT2014-07-25 06:48:09 GMT
Prominent HIV/AIDS researchers were among the 298 victims identified aboard flight MH17. To honor their legacy, the Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation is hosting a candlelight vigil. We spokeMore >>
The Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation to host candlelight vigil to honor top HIV/AIDS researchers killed in Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 18th, 2014. More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 12:41 AM EDT2014-07-25 04:41:41 GMT
Montgomery police say two people were injured when the vehicle they were traveling in hit a tree Thursday night. Sgt. Denise Barnes with the Montgomery Police Department says the single-vehicle crashMore >>
Montgomery police say two people were injured when the vehicle they were traveling in hit a tree Thursday night.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 12:17 AM EDT2014-07-25 04:17:34 GMT
As new teachers in the Butler County school system introduced themselves to the community Thursday night, the school board also introduced and approved its new strategic plan- its five year plan for improvement.More >>
A community effort and plan for the future of the Butler County school system has become a reality. The school board outlined aspects of the new strategic plan tonight and the impact they hope it will have across the district. More >>
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
Branch Kloess routinely works on cases for indigent defendants.
"We charge for our services based on what we do--whether it's a preliminary hearing or a bond hearing or filing motions or research or trials."
The rate he's allowed to charge the state for that work, though, has changed.
And it's all because a law legislators passed in 2011 allows the state to reduce the rate to save money.
"That wasn't a really big deal for me and I don't know anyone who has made a real issue out of it. But that was the biggest change. I just don't know how they're gonna save this much money," adds Kloess.
Kloess says the state already caps attorneys' compensation--meaning his pay stops at a certain point even if the case isn't closed.
"Probably won't make any more income on that case because we're already maxed out."
Also, the number of cases have increased over the years.
"You're talking thousands and thousands of cases every year."
That means more attorneys...and more fees.
Kloess hopes the state can save the money.
Either way, he'll still serve indigent defendants.
"This is something that I've chosen to do. I've done it for almost 25 years now. Hopefully, if we get paid, fine. And if we don't, we do it because we're providing, I think, a very valuable service to the citizens."
By the end of the year state finance officials hope the indigent defense costs decrease from $65 million a year to $46 million.
Before the law was passed capping attorneys' compensation, each case was costing the state roughly $800. Now, that number is about $600.