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Head Of Maine Commission On Criminal Defense To Step Down In December

John Pelletier announcing his resignation

The man who leads Maine’s commission on providing criminal defense for defendants unable to afford a lawyer has announced he’s stepping down.

At today’s virtual meeting of the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services, its executive director John Pelletier read a letter of resignation announcing his departure in mid-December.

A sub-committee will be formed to examine not only the job description for the next executive director, but also existing staff, and find a replacement. The new committee will be formed to put forward two or three replacement candidates for consideration by the Commission.

The representation of indigent defendants was heavily criticized by the Boston-based Sixth Amendment Center in a recent report and in press coverage. However, Maine vastly underfunds indigent criminal defense in comparison with other states. Massachusetts, for instance, spends three times per capita what is spent in Maine.

According to his biography on the MCILS website, John became the executive director on January 11, 2010 having represented indigent citizens in criminal cases, juvenile proceedings, child protective cases, and involuntary commitment proceedings for more than twenty years.

Mr. Pelletier is a former board member and past President of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and graduate of Harvard College and the University of Maine School of Law.


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