- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed Andre de Gruy as Mississippi state public defender.

The appointment is effective Friday. De Gruy will replace Leslie Lee, who is retiring.

Bryant, in a news release Thursday, said de Gruy has served as director of the state public defender’s office’s capital defense division since 2001. Before that, he was an assistant public defender in Hinds County. His legal career started in 1990, as a staff attorney at the Mississippi Capital Defense Resource Center, where he worked until 1995.

Bryant says for nearly three decades, de Gruy has worked to ensure that indigent defendants’ constitutional right to legal counsel is fulfilled. He says that experience makes him “uniquely qualified” to fill the post.

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