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Death-penalty cases put public defender $8M over budget (access required)

A Maricopa County agency that contracts with private attorneys to represent indigent criminal defendants is going to end the fiscal year over budget by more than $8 million, or about 63 percent, due to a glut of death-penalty cases and the high cost of defending them.

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Former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce, with bottle, and wife Sherry Pierce, both of whom stand accused in a bribery scheme, leave U.S. District Court in Phoenix after their arraignment on June 7, 2017.

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