Sunday, June 04, 2006

Right to Counsel

Read this excellent essay in Slate, "Gideon's Silence: Whatever happened to the right to counsel?" by Alexandra Natapoff (a law professor at Loyola, Marymount in LA). She uses Judge Arthur L. Hunter, Jr.'s radical response to prisoners languishing in jail after the Katrina disaster in New Orleans to help highlight a national miscarriage of justice:

Judge Arthur L. Hunter Jr. is fed up. The complete destruction of the public-defender system has left more than 1,000 people sitting in soggy New Orleans jails without access to lawyers. So, Judge Hunter, a former police officer, is suspending prosecutions and setting defendants free. In the words of last week's New York Times, "alone among a dozen criminal court judges, he has granted a petition to free a prisoner facing serious charges without counsel, and is considering others."

But Professor Natapoff also refers the reader to an ABA report from 2004, titled Gideon's Broken Promise: America's Continuing Quest for Equal Justice link.

The image of Themis, or the lady of justice is from

No comments: