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The Champion

March 1998 , Page  

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Glimpses at a Dream Yet To Be Realized

By Stephen B. Bright

Stephen B. Bright is Director of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, GA. An NACDL Director, he has served people facing the death penalty at trials, on appeals and in post-conviction proceedings since 1979. He has taught courses on capital punishment, criminal procedure and international human rights at Yale, Harvard, Georgetown, Northeastern, Florida State, Emory, and St. Mary's law schools; and has testified extensively before the U.S. Congress and many state legislatures.

[I]n our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him. . . . [L]awyers in criminal cases are necessities, not luxuries.

Gideon v. Wainwright,
372 U.S. 335, 344 (1963) 

It will be an enormous task to bring to life the dream of Gideon v. Wainwright -- the dream of a vast, diverse country in which every person charged with a crime will be capably defended, no matter what his economic circ

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