From Ohio History Central
Both the United States Constitution and the Ohio Constitution guarantee people accused of a crime the right to legal representation. Despite having this constitutional right, everyone cannot afford an attorney. To guarantee Ohio�s poorer citizens legal representation, the Ohio government established the Office of the Ohio Public Defender in 1976. The Office of the Ohio Public Defender is an agency of the State of Ohio and provides poorer Ohioans accused of a crime with free legal representation. Generally, the Office of the Ohio Public Defender handles the appeals of people who have lost their initial cases. Usually, a court-appointed attorney represents the accused at the first trial. The Office of the Ohio Public Defender is especially involved in appealing death-penalty cases. In 2005, the Office of the Ohio Public Defender consisted of 131 employees.