VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB MEETING
DECEMBER 1, 2015
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from the director of the Ville Platte Indigent Defender District, attorney Alex “Sonny” Chapman. Chapman who has been serving as an attorney for 36 years has been serving as director since 2007.
He reported that the indigent defender program drastically changed in the late 1950’s when Clarence Gideon of Florida filed a writ with the Supreme Court saying the Bill of Rights gives citizens the right to have the assistance of an attorney if they could not afford one. In 1961, the Supreme Court ruled in his favor.
In 2007, the state began funding local parishes which provided Evangeline Parish with four felony attorneys and 2 juvenile attorneys along with 2 investigators. Two thirds of the funding to pay for the attorneys were coming from the state with the other third coming from local court fees.
Chapman reported that each attorney works about 200 felony cases a year.
Chapman was the special guest speaker of Rotarian Bill Brunet.