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2 new members of Public Defender Commission

March 9, 2009

Indiana Speaker of the House Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, has appointed two new members to the Public Defender Commission, the Indiana Supreme Court announced today. Representatives Vernon G. Smith, D-Gary, and Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, join the 11-member commission.

Rep. Smith, who also serves on the House Education and Courts and Criminal Code committees, replaces former Rep. Phil Hoy. Rep. Steuerwald, who also serves on the Government and Regulatory and Courts and Criminal Code committees, replaces former Rep. Amos Thomas.

The Indiana Public Defender Commission recommends standards to ensure high-quality indigent defense is provided statewide, and counties that follow those standards are eligible to be reimbursed from the Public Defense Fund for capital and non-capital indigent defense expenses.

The commission has 11 members: three are appointed by the governor, three by the chief justice, one by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, two are House of Representative members appointed by the House speaker, and two are Senate members appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate.

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