Public Defenders and Justice
Monday, September 02, 2013
The 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright states that all defendants facing significant jail time have the constitutional right to a free attorney if they cannot afford their own. Fifty years later, 80 percent of criminal defendants are served by public defenders. Karen Houppert chronicles the stories of people in all parts of the country who have relied on public defenders in Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People’s Justice.