The Judicial System in Texas is top-notch--if you can afford to pay for it. The word from Texas Suprme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson in his State of the Judiciary Address.
Jefferson delivered his address to lawmakers at the State Capitol Wednesday--where he said it's not a question of how the system is working.
"We must ask instead whether our system of justice is working for the people it has promised to serve" Jefferson said--pressing lawmakers to close what he sees as a have and have nots divide--which places Texas 48th in the country when it comes to per capita funding for indigent defense.
"Nearly six-million Texans qualify for legal aid--yet our state's legal aid programs legal aid programs meet about 20-percent of the needs of indigent Texans--forcing many to go it alone in the courts" Jefferson said.
The Chief Justice also renewed his push for the creation of a stste commission to study exonerations, with the state seeing 117 of them following wrongful convitions over the last 25 years.
"Wrongful convictions leave our citizens vulnerable--and actual perpetrators remain free" Jefferson said, noting those wrongful convictions also erode confidence in the system.