March 18, 2018 marked the 55th anniversary of the landmark Gideon v. Wainwright case. This seminal Supreme Court decision ruled that the accused have right to counsel in all criminal cases if they cannot afford one, even on the state level. We asked partner organizations and those on social media to share with us how this decision has shaped the state of public defense 55 years later using the hashtag #GideonAt55.
Compiled here are some of the most moving or informative posts shared during this important month. These posts not only remind us to think back to the important day in 1963 when the right to counsel was assured for millions of Americans but to think and act in ways that make Gideon’s promise a reality.
.@NACDL commissioned a report on #Louisiana's public defense system "to assess the root causes of perhaps the most prolonged and severe public defense crisis in the nation." Read the report's findings & recommendations for reform #GideonAt55 https://t.co/jZRoJ3vDUq pic.twitter.com/tAQ8BfDbK9
— NACDL (@NACDL) March 18, 2018
— The Legal Aid Society (@LegalAidNYC) March 18, 2018
55 years ago, #SCOTUS held in #Gideon v. Wainwright that the accused have the #right2counsel even if they cannot afford one. Celebrate #GideonAt55 & read about the women who work to ensure our 6th Amendment rights. #TheFeminine6th https://t.co/kUr6GDg3w5 pic.twitter.com/nC3SZ4jeHh
— The Feminine Sixth (@TheFeminine6th) March 18, 2018
— Maryland OPD (@MarylandOPD) March 19, 2018
To public defenders out there who fight every day to protect people’s freedom & restore dignity to those who are mistreated in the system, I thank you for giving a voice to the voiceless, standing up to oppression & bigotry, and ensuring that our rights are protected. #GideonAt55
— Eve Brensike Primus (@PrimusEve) March 19, 2018
Benjamin Marchman is a student assistant in the Justice Programs Office.