For decades, the Missouri State Public Defender has been underfunded, understaffed, and overworked. Too few attorneys are handling too many cases, fueling a system that consistently fails to give each case the minimum recommended hours for ethical representation, as defined by the American Bar Association.  The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Missouri, the MacArthur Justice Center at St. Louis, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe filed a class-action lawsuit against the Missouri State Public Defender to balance the scales of justice and uphold the constitution.

We've created a timeline on the history of the public defender system in Missouri.