public defender


Definition of public defender

: a lawyer usually holding public office whose duty is to defend accused persons unable to pay for legal assistance

Examples of public defender in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even Damon Preston, the Kentucky public defender arguing that Casey's Law is unconstitutional, said the intent of Casey's Law isn’t a bad one. Sarah Haselhorst, The Enquirer, "Under a challenge of constitutionality, the future of Casey's Law is cloaked and uncertain," 10 July 2020 But the judge denied the public defender's attempt to lower Lopez's bond. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Accused Louisville protest shooter told police 'that people were coming after him'," 9 July 2020 Inmates report that two other detainees engaged in acts of self-harm while locked in their cells, one reportedly slashing his neck,‘' the federal public defender wrote. oregonlive, "Inmate tests positive for coronavirus at federal prison in Sheridan," 6 July 2020 Allen Wolf, the head public defender in Montgomery County, previously told The Post that his office probably would represent one of the suspects. Emily Davies, Washington Post, "Sixth suspect arrested in Montgomery homicide involving MS-13, police say," 3 July 2020 The project began when lawyer Emily Baker-White, a public defender in death penalty cases, discovered a meme on social media that helped her in a case. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, "Last year’s study of racist posts by police on Facebook now seems more important than ever," 12 June 2020 Eight inmates have already died there, the federal prison with the second-highest death toll in the nation, assistant federal public defender Ruben Iñiguez told the court last week. oregonlive, "Judge denies early release for 72-year-old tax dodger who tested positive for coronavirus in federal prison," 29 June 2020 The latest is Project Level Up, a program with the public defender's office and the juvenile court system that focuses on repeat juvenile offenders. Dakin Andone, CNN, "5 things to know about the district attorney who charged the officers in the Rayshard Brooks case," 29 June 2020 The building catty-corner to the Justice Center that houses the county’s public defender offices, which suffered heavy damage that day, was also untouched. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Justice Center security video shows police fired pepper spray, tear gas before bulk of violence at Cleveland’s George Floyd protests," 27 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'public defender.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of public defender

1822, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for public defender

Time Traveler

The first known use of public defender was in 1822

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Statistics for public defender

Last Updated

14 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Public defender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for public defender

public defender


English Language Learners Definition of public defender

US : a lawyer who is paid by the government to defend people who are accused of a crime and are unable to pay for a private lawyer

public defender


Legal Definition of public defender

: a lawyer usually holding public office who represents criminal defendants unable to pay for legal assistance

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for public defender Encyclopedia article about public defender

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