Considering Gideon at 50: Indigent Defense Reform Recommendations

Considering Gideon at 50: Indigent Defense Reform Recommendations is a series of ACS Issue Briefs offering ideas and proposals to address the indigent defense crisis in the United States. On the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, we hope that policymakers, judges, and others will recognize how the experiences of indigent defendants across the country diverge from the right to counsel articulated in Gideon. These briefs provide a broad set of recommendations to remedy the myriad of problems facing our indigent defense system, including inadequate funding and excessive workloads.

  1. Assessing the Indigent Defense System (update and reissue) by Erica J. Hashimoto (February 20, 2013)

  2. Are We Closer to Fulfilling Gideon’s Promise: The Effects of the Supreme Court’s “Right to Counsel Term” by Christopher Durocher (January 10, 2013)

  3. The “Right-to-Counsel Term” by Mary Schmid Mergler and Christopher Durocher (October 4, 2011)

  4. When Excessive Public Defender Workloads Violate the Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel Without a Showing of Prejudice by Laurence A. Benner (March 1, 2011)

  5. Diverting and Reclassifying Misdemeanors Could Save $1 Billion per Year: Reducing the Need for Court Appointed Counsel by Robert C. Boruchowitz (December 15, 2010)

  6. Immigration Assistance for Indigent Defenders by Sejal Zota and John Rubin (October 26, 2010)

  7. Overcoming Defiance of the Constitution: The Need for a Federal Role in Protecting the Right to Counsel in Georgia by Stephen B. Bright and Lauren Sudeall Lucas (September 29, 2010)

  8. Litigation Strategies for Dealing with the Indigent Defense Crisis by Eve Brensike Primus (September 29, 2010)

  9. A Legislative Approach to Indigent Defense Reform by Cara H. Drinan (July 13, 2010)

  10. Hire A Lawyer, Escape the Death Penalty? by Scott Phillips (February 23, 2010)