There has been much celebration this year of the 50th Anniversary of the Gideon decision1 rendered by the United States Supreme Court in March of 1963. Gideon guaranteed that indigent persons accused of crime would be entitled to representation. It has been said for some time now, that the full promise of Gideon has never been realized. Nevertheless, the right to counsel in criminal cases is an important constitutional right.
2013 also marks the 120th Anniversary of the first public proposal of a public defender system which was introduced in Chicago in 1893. It also marks the 99th anniversary of the first actual public defender’s office in the world created in Los Angeles in 1914, and the 44th anniversary of the Office of the Public Defender in Santa Barbara County created in 1969. All of these events are also significant in the ultimate implementation of the Constitutional right to counsel set forth in Gideon. Although there is still much work to be done, in this month’s Criminal Justice column in the Special Constitutional Law issue of The Santa Barbara Lawyer magazine, we will take a look at this history.
- Legal History,
- public defender,
- right to counsel
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/robert_sanger/25/