An editorial in a recent local Virginia paper noted that "Virginia's much-reviled, lowest-in-the-nation mandatory compensation caps for court-appointed attorneys remain a joke. Until recently, a charge punishable by life in prison earned a lawyer no more than $1,096, even for a full-fledged trial.
Defense of lesser crimes, and particularly those committed by juveniles, were even more ludicrously compensated. An extra $2 million allotted by the General Assembly last session improves those numbers a smidgen. The $1,096 inched up to $1,186, for instance. But that's still a ridiculous sum for, say, a five-day, first-degree-murder trial.
The fairest plan would be to remove the caps altogether, paying attorneys based on actual work."
It was a worthwhile point, well made.