Lawyers for Khanh Dinh Phan asked the Georgia Supreme Court to dismiss the charges against him or to bar the state from seeking the death penalty because the state has been unable to pay for Phan’s defense. After his arrest in 2005, Chris Adams and Bruce Harvey were appointed to represent Phan. “The state of Georgia has made Mr. Harvey and myself potted plants,” Adams recently said. “We are lawyers in name only. … The state of Georgia has failed, and failed miserably, in this case.” The case has yet to go to trial, and the state public defender system has been unable to pay for attorney fees, expert witnesses, and for investigators. Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter agreed that there has been no money for the defense, and that the state defender system is “fatally flawed,” but urged the judges not to dismiss the charges or strike the death penalty. Porter said, “We all agree that funding has not been provided, and I don’t know if there’s a realistic possibility funding will be provided.” The Georgia Supreme Court is expected to rule in a similar issue in which a Pike County death penalty defendant has waited four years to go to trial because there was no funding for his defense.

(B. Rankin, “Lack of funds for death-penalty defense cited in bid for dismissal,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 9, 2010). See also Representation and Costs.