Gideon: Looking Back, Leaping Forward

By Zoë Root* This March, the Right to Counsel National Campaign (R2C) has embraced the 55th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright as an opportunity to reflect on what quality public defense looks like, the impact it has on individual clients’ lives, and the work that needs to be done to fully realize the intent of the Gideon decision.

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Gideon Is Not a Promise but a Constitutional Mandate

By Judge Brian MacKenzie* In Gideon vs. Wainwright the Supreme Court announced that the right to an attorney was both “fundamental and essential” to rule of law under the Sixth Amendment to our Constitution, which provides that "[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to have the assistance of counsel for his defense."

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This Is Gideon

By Genevieve Citrin Ray*; If you were arrested and charged with a crime, would you know what to do? If you were brought into a courtroom in handcuffs, told to stand straight, look up at a judge, and listen to a prosecutor dressed in a suit make statements about your character and accusing you of a crime, would you know how to react? What if you had someone next to you, who was familiar with the process and the court actors, telling you it was okay and that s/he was there to support and advocate for you, would that change how you felt? That is the power of Gideon.

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Quid Pro Quo: New Initiative Pairs Young Private Attorney’s Seeking Experience with Public Defenders

Quid Pro Quo: New Initiative Pairs Young Private Attorney’s Seeking Experience with Public Defenders

By Genevieve Citrin*; Last year, Missouri gained the national spotlight when the director of the Missouri State Public Defender’s Office, Michael Barrett, assigned Governor Jay Nixon a criminal case. While Nixon did not take up the case, with media attention, Barrett underscored major challenges Missouri’s indigent defense system faces.

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