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Mo. public defenders easing caseload limits

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri public defender system says it is easing off its caseload limits that have led to disagreements over whether they have the time and resources to represent some criminal defendants.

Public defender director Cat Kelly said Tuesday she has instructed local public defender offices to treat the caseload limits with more flexibility. The move has the approval of the Public Defender Commission.

Public defenders represent people charged with a crime who face potential jail time but who lack the money to hire an attorney.

Kelly said public defender offices in 20 judicial circuits around the state had been under a limited ability to accept new clients because of the caseload limits.

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