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Public defenders for Boston bombing suspect facing furloughs

The lawyers defending Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are dealing with federal budget cuts forcing them to take three unpaid weeks off, even as they prepare a defense for one of the most high-profile cases in the country.

The office of federal defender Miriam Conrad in Boston has been appointed to represent Tsarnaev. Her office is being forced to complete the furloughs before the end of September because of cuts of around 10 percent.

Furloughs have caused delays in another terror-related case in New York. A public defender representing Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law told a judge this month that furloughs were making it impossible to prepare for trial quickly. The judge said he found it “extremely troublesome” and “stunning” that sequestration was interfering with the prosecution.

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