In New Orleans, a judge has ordered the release of 42 defendants because the overwhelmed public defender's office isn't giving them adequate representation. Most of the accused are there on drug offenses, but some are up on robbery and sex crimes.
It looks like the judge is using the order to pressure the Louisiana legislature to increase funding to the defender's office. After Katrina, the defenders had to lay off several of its lawyers. The judge's order wouldn't take effect until later this month.