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New rules for public defender eligibility in Md. helping some

An expansion of the criteria that allows criminal defendants to be represented by public defenders in Maryland is already helping some defendants.

The change is the result of two recent rulings by the Maryland Court of Appeals.

In the past, eligibility was determined solely on the basis of income. But the appeals court ruled April 16 that a person's assets and debts must also be taken into account.

Maryland Public Defender Paul B. DeWolfe Jr. says officials began considering the new factors on May 17.

The new requirements have already had an impact for at least one man in Frederick County.

Anthony Wilson Weddle's application for a public defender was turned down once, but under the new rules he qualified last week.

-- The Frederick News-Post

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 1, 2010; 11:24 AM ET
Categories:  Frederick , From the Courthouse , Maryland  
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