Defending Gideon

In 1963, the Supreme Court, in Gideon v Wainwright, ruled that every criminal defendant is entitled to a lawyer. 50 years later, the United States has not lived up to the great promise of the Gideon case. NMAP produced this short documentary with the Constitution Project, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gideon and to illuminate the current state of public defender systems. The film had its first screening at the Department of Justice, introduced by Attorney General Eric Holder, and Michigan legislators used it to help pass the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission Act, creating a structure for enhancing the state’s public defense services.