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Gideon's Trumpet: Indigent Right to Counsel
Charged in a Florida State Court with a noncapital felony, I appeared without funds and without counsel and asked the Court to appoint counsel for me; but this was denied on the ground that the state law permitted appointment of counsel for indigent defendants in capital cases only. I conducted my own defense about as well as could be expected of a layman; but was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. Subsequently, I applied to the State Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus, on the ground that my conviction violated his rights under the Federal Constitution. The State Supreme Court denied all relief.
Empowering Public Defenders - not Public Pretenders
As the LA County Board of Supervisors searches for the new chief public defender for the Los Angeles County public defender’s office, it must be cognizant of a deep commitment to quality indigent defense. Needs range from social services to proactively dressing the severe civil legal consequences that can stem from criminal convictions. This experience gives faith that the candidates are true defenders.
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