The state’s most dangerous sex predators ran up a $1.2 million taxpayer-funded legal tab last year by quietly using an obscure provision in state law that lets them hire public defenders to go behind closed doors and argue to keep their identities and whereabouts secret, a Herald review found.
Since 2003, when the state ordered the most dangerous, or Level 3, sex offenders be posted on a public website, convicts have flooded the Committee for Public Counsel Services with requests for lower, laxer classification. Since then, the public defenders’ office has had to shell out skyrocketing sums for lawyers to take those cases before the Sex Offenders Registry Board.
Last year alone, the bill to represent indigent convicts cost taxpayers $1,228,065. That’s up a hundredfold from $11,293 in 2002.