The right to counsel has come a long way in the fifty years since Gideon v. Wainwright. Today, Gideon is more important than ever, and there is still so much more to do to fulfill the promise of the right to counsel in America. I hope you will join me in honoring the 50th anniversary of Gideon by supporting the work done every day to fulfill that promise by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ). Please consider giving $50 today to honor the 50th anniversary of this monumental decision.
You can make a difference in fulfilling the promise of Gideon with a contribution to the FCJ, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit dedicated to vital criminal justice reforms like the right to counsel. FCJ-supported efforts in the coming year include:
- The release of several studies documenting the extent to which state support for the defense function is inadequate;
- New resources for criminal defense lawyers who represent indigent defendants, including resources for litigating forensic science issues, challenging bail decisions, and identifying collateral consequences of convictions;
- Initiatives designed to ensure that indigent defendants are provided with the guiding hand of counsel at their first appearance before a judicial officer - including any appearance where liberty is at stake or where the accused may plead guilty to a criminal charge; and
- Educational support for attorneys who handle indigent defense cases, especially in critical developing areas like immigration-related collateral consequences of conviction.
And there is so much more.
To help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gideon, several sponsors have agreed to give $500 for every ten contributions of $50 to the FCJ. I hope you might consider a contribution of any amount, but by giving $50 in honor of Gideon's 50th, you could double the effect of your support.
Your support will allow the FCJ to continue its pursuit of the promise of Gideon and ensure that access to counsel is expanded over the next 50 years. If you are able, please make a tax-deductible contribution at http://nacdl.us/13RWVG4, or mail a contribution to: The Foundation for Criminal Justice, 1660 L St NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20036.
Thank you for your continued support of the criminal defense function in its historic role as Liberty's Last Champion™.