4.0320 Public Defender-Office created.

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(a) The office of Public Defender is created as an independent agency of the executive branch of the government.

(b) The Public Defender shall be appointed by the Governor of American Samoa and confirmed by the Legislature, for a term of 4 years and shall serve until his successor is appointed and qualified. He may be reappointed for 1 or more subsequent 4-year terms. Vacancies in the office shall be filled by the Governor for the unexpired term. The first Public Defender appointed pursuant to this section shall be appointed for a term commencing 1 January 1978.

(c) The Public Defender shall be a qualified attorney who is a graduate of an accredited law school with at least 3 years of experience in criminal trial work, licensed to practice law in this territory, and shall be removed from office only for good cause by the Governor.

(d) The Public Defender shall devote full time to the performance of his duties and shall not engage in the private practice of law. The compensation of the territorial Public Defender shall be at the same grade as that of the Deputy Attorney General and shall not be reduced during the term of his appointment.

History: 1977, PL 15-57 § 1.