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Public Defenders

WNYC News

Lawsuit Challenges the State's Public Defender System

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Poor New Yorkers facing criminal charges across the state are appearing in court without attorneys in violation of their constitutional rights.

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WNYC News

Class-Action Lawsuit Challenging New York's Public Defender System Moves To Trial

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A class-action lawsuit challenging New York State’s failure to provide effective counsel to indigent New Yorkers is going to trial.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

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.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

"Gideon's Army" and Public Defenders

Monday, June 24, 2013

Dawn Porter, director of “Gideon’s Army,” and Travis Williams, a public defender profiled in the documentary, discuss the work of public defenders. The film follows a group of idealistic young public defenders in the Deep South, where lawyers face particularly difficult challenges due to high bonds, minimum mandatory sentencing and a culture that is traditionally "tough on crime." It airs at 9:00 pm on July 1 on HBO.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Public Defenders and Justice

Thursday, March 28, 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.

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