News Release

Media Alert: Gideon at 50 Event on March 12, 2013

 Co-Sponsored by NACDL and The Heritage Foundation 


Steven D. Benjamin, President, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Jim Bethke, Executive Director, Texas Indigent Defense Commission

Rhoda Billings, Professor Emeritus, Wake Forest University School of Law, and former Chief Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court

Co-Hosted by: 

Edwin Meese III, Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow in Public Policy Emeritus, The Heritage Foundation

Norman Reimer Executive Director, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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 Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Gideon v. Wainwright and forever changed America’s criminal justice system. No longer was the Sixth Amendment right to counsel available only to those with the means to afford it; it was there for everyone charged with a felony. Since then, the right has been extended to include many misdemeanors and juvenile delinquency proceedings. But half a century later, fulfilling the promise of Gideon remains a continuing challenge. Join us as our distinguished panel of experts reflects on the continuing challenge of how to ensure access to this fundamental right and highlights promising state innovations.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.

The Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium

RSVP online | or call (202) 675-1752

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Terms and conditions of attendance are posted at 

All events may be viewed live at 

News media inquiries, call (202) 675-1761

214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE | Washington, DC 20002 | (202) 546-4400

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Ivan J. Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.