Georgia’s Indefensible Indigent Defense System – A Defense in Name Only? | former State Representative Wyche Orr

Jamie Ryan Weis has been held in county jails in Georgia for over four years. Weis has not been found guilty of any crime. He has not had a trial. Although he is charged with murder and the prosecution is seeking the death penalty, during all but some six months of the time he has been held, he has not had active legal representation because the State of Georgia has failed to provide funding for his defense.
Weis eventually obtained reinstatement of his original lawyers, but he no longer had any chance of receiving a speedy, fair trial which he is guaranteed under the Georgia and United States Constitutions. There was still no money for his defense. The investigation that should have commenced promptly after his arrest had not occurred. His mother, who would have been a key witness and a critical source of information about his life, had died.

Beyond that, Weis, who suffers from schizophrenia, depression and severe anxiety, experienced visual and auditory hallucinations, severe depression and anxiety. His medicines were abruptly changed to cheaper brands by jailers attempting to save money. The side effects were devastating. He attempted suicide three times.

As the newly appointed Director of GPDSC, Teilhet sure has his work cut out for him.


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