Five public defenders in upstate Franklin County, N.Y., are being asked to do what should be the work of 12 attorneys, according to the first profile of indigent legal services in 10 New York counties commissioned by the New York State Defenders Association.

The group will release the studies of the other nine counties in the coming weeks in the hope of persuading New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the Legislature to begin funding the creation of a statewide agency to handle legal services for the poor by including $6 million in the next state budget.

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