The YSL trial has yet to begin, but it continues to make headlines for the zaniness that’s often occurring with the lawyers and defendants of the trial.
This week, a state-appointed lawyer threatened to join an explicit website in order to make up for the low wages that she’s being paid. Attorney Angela D’Wiliams, who represents one of the defendants in YSL, took aim at the Georgia Public Defender Council, the agency that hired her as a defendant.
The agency is reportedly paying D’Wiliams and other court appointed lawyers $15,000 for the entire case.
“This case is slated to last for about a year, and if you were to do the math, it would be six dollars an hour,” D’Wiliams said, according to WSB. “I can’t take any new cases. I can’t close any cases. I need something to survive off of.”
D’Williams continued, “We were under the impression that GPDC was advocating for us, and once they put those walls up, I’m thinking I need to start an OnlyFans.”
D’Williams said she asked for an increase in funding in March, but the director of GPDC reportedly told her that they didn’t need to meet anymore.
“I need to know what she has done to advocate for the appointed counsel in this case,” she said.
D’Williams was able to meet with the GPDC for 10 minutes and the two sides agreed to meet again in two weeks.
Several weeks ago, another YSL attorney said that they would make more money working as a fast food cashier. “To be honest, I could make more money working at Chick-fil-A as a cashier,” Justin 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.”
Currently, jury selection has taken five months and the actually trial could last for about nine months.
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.