Gideon's Champion (From the President)

NACDL has launched a 12-month celebration of the Gideon v. Wainwright decision.

Access to The Champion archive is one of many exclusive member benefits. It’s normally restricted to just NACDL members. However, this content, and others like it, is available to everyone in order to educate the public on why criminal justice reform is a necessity.

As announced in the January/February edition of The Champion, NACDL has launched an 15-month long celebration of the Golden Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright. It has been 50 years since Clarence Earl Gideon filed his simple handwritten petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, and, long before the historic decision ever came down, the Court acknowledged the critical role of the defense lawyer by appointing exceptional counsel to represent Mr. Gideon. Representing those accused of crimes who cannot otherwise afford counsel, standing with those individuals as they face the multitude of life-altering consequences that flow from a potential criminal conviction, is the very best of what we, as criminal defense lawyers, do. To commemorate this milestone, the Foundation for Criminal Justice is hosting a gala in conjunction with NACDL’s annual meeting in San Francisco. This is a time to celebrate the venerable part that defense lawyers play in combatting injustice. I hope you will join us in San Francisco as we mark this historic anniversary, honor the heroic work of publicly funded defense counsel, and reaffirm our commitment to seeing the noble idea of Gideon put into practice

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