Twenty-seven former New York State Bar Association presidents have signed onto a campaign to support the creation of a statewide commission to provide indigent defense services.

The 27, who date back to S. Hazard Gillespie and his term in 1958 and 1959, said last month they are backing a call for a statewide Independent Public Defense Counsel made by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye. She is advocating for a three-year takeover of the indigent defense system, which is now run and financed by the counties.

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