The ongoing saga of the YSL case continues even before the actually trial begins. This week, several defense attorneys assigned to the defend YSL members are seeking to withdraw from the case.
Attorney Angela D’Williams submitted a motion to withdraw from the case due to low wages and the amount of time that needs to be dedicated to the case, according to the AJC.
D’Williams and other YSL attorneys Justin Hill and Suri Chadha Jimenez were appointed by Georgia Public Defender Council. They were assigned to each defend three members of YSL for a salary of $15,000 for the entire trial. Currently, jury selection has taken four months and the actually trial could last for about nine months.
“To be honest, I could make more money working at Chick-fil-A as a cashier,” Hill said when discussing the low pay. “For at least a year’s worth of full-time work, that’s essentially less than minimum wage.”
The low wages shed light on the issues faced by public defenders and low-income defendants who seek a fair trial.
“If you are poor and you are charged with RICO, you are probably going to be sitting in jail without your Sixth Amendment right to an attorney because people will probably not take (the case),” Williams said. “The government is just saying that if you are appointed, this is basically going to be pro bono.”
Although several defendants in the YSL trial needed court-appointed defense attorneys, chart-topping rapper Young Thug will be paying for his own defense which could reportedly cost him millions.
There were initially 28 defendants and 14 took plea deals. As a result of the pleas deals, any of the co-defendants named in the original indictment could be called to testify during trial.
Incarcerated since May 2022, Young Thug was arrested along with fellow rapper Gunna and other members of YSL (Young Slime Life). They were charged with the RICO Act by Fulton County District Attorney, Fani Willis.