The Tennessee District Public Defenders Conference has elected Ardena Garth to serve as the 2006-2007 President of the Conference. Ms. Garth is Public Defender for the 11th Judicial District, which includes Hamilton County.
The Public Defenders Conference is a statewide system of elected Public Defenders from each Judicial District. The Executive Committee of the Public Defenders Conference is the decision-making body of the Conference. The Committee helps Public Defenders across the State discharge their official duties, and assists with the enactment of laws and rules of procedure necessary for the effective administration of justice. District Public Defenders represent citizens who are charged with crimes and cannot afford to hire their own attorneys.
Ms. Garth will help lead Public Defenders through a critical time as more Tennesseans than ever before face the maze of our criminal justice system. The Public Defender's role is often reactionary to public policy. As the public demands intense crime fighting efforts, the Public Defender is pressed into even greater service to handle the wave of defendants entering the courtroom. These defendants often enter the system with little or no money. Under their constitutional guarantees to equal justice, these Tennesseans most often call upon a Public Defender for help.
Ms. Garth and her staff represent the majority of indigent criminal cases in the local courts.