Your Call: How is the public defense system working?

May 21, 2014


On today's Your Call, we’ll speak with public defenders about representing the poor. It’s been more than half a century since the Supreme Court ruled that every defendant in a criminal case deserves legal representation, even if they can’t pay for it. Many public defenders say they are overworked and underpaid. So how is this affecting the justice system? And what needs to change?  Join the conversation on the next Your Call with Holly Kernan and You.


Jeff Adachi, San Francisco County Public Defender

Lawrence Biggam, Santa Cruz County Public Defender


The Atlantic: How Americans Lost the Right to Counsel, 50 Years After ‘Gideon'

Journalist’s Resource: Public defenders, attorney quality and trial outcomes: Research on legal representation

WSWS: 100 years since founding of the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office

NPR: As Court Fees Rise, The Poor Are Paying The Price

NPR: Profiles Of Those Forced To 'Pay Or Stay' 

Post-Gazette: The Cautionary Instruction: Public defenders and prosecutors underpaid

Fusion: Right to a Speedy Trial? This Innocent Teenager Waited 3 Years in Jail

Monterey Herald:Gideon's promise: 50 years after landmark case, public defenders worry about their future

Gideon’s Army - documentary film