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Review: 'Gideon's Army' Is An Eye-Opening Look At The Unsung Work Of Public Defenders

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 1, 2013 3:03 PM
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"Gideon's Army"
While the Sixth Amendment guarantees the "assistance of counsel" for a criminal defendant, it may surprise you to learn that it wasn't until the 1963 case of Gideon v. Wainwright, where the concept of a public defender became solidified. Prior to the ruling, uneducated, poor or defendants who were otherwise unable to obtain counsel represented themselves. The aforementioned case argued that it was unfair those unfamiliar with the justice system to adequately defend themselves against those who are likely more educated and experienced. The Supreme Court agreed, and it led to the public defence system across the country -- varying state-by-state of course -- in which a committed team of individuals give individuals the due process the system is supposed to provide. As you might guess, the job is not easy and the structure of the courts and the established routine of how prosecutions and trials play out still leave much to be desired.

Watch: Trailers For Sundance Entries 'Charlie Victor Romeo,' 'Gideon's Army' & 'Halley'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 8, 2013 10:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
A big-screen take on an acclaimed stage play, a documentary, and a film from Mexico...it looks like there will be some compelling alternate choices at the Sundance Film Festival this year if you're shut out of the big-ticket screenings, and with a handful of trailers dropping, let's take a quick dive into them.

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