March 18 marks the 56th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, and the nationwide celebration of Public Defense Day. The JPO Right to Counsel (R2C) National Campaign will join in solidarity with other organizations across the country to commemorate the event. During the day we will post and share stories on social media, and we will relaunch a quarterly e-newsletter so we can continue to share contemporary and newsworthy stories about this issue.
In the landmark case Gideon v. Wainwright, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the accused has a constitutional right to counsel and if he or she is unable to afford an attorney, the state must provide one. The Sixth Amendment is the backbone of our justice system for the accused, ensuring that their voices are heard and that their liberty is protected. Without public defense providers, individuals charged with a crime must face the power of the government alone – which can be a scary and daunting scenario. The R2C National Campaign will continue to raise awareness, advocate for people stuck in the system, and seek to ensure that our justice system is just and promotes human dignity.
#PublicDefenseDay #PublicDefenderDay #GideonAnniversary