The Champion

January/February 2003 , Page 48 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

Gideon Belongs to the Community in Virginia

By James Hingeley

Gideon v. Wainwright was decided in 1963. With its customary deliberate speed, Virginia waited until 1972 to start shifting from assigned counsel to a public defender system to carry out the Gideon mandate. Thirty years of piecemeal development have brought Virginia to the point where public defenders serve only about half the population. Offices are large and small, rural and urban, and geographically scattered across the state.

For years, criminal justice professionals have realized that Virginia should establish a statewide public defender system. In his 2002 state of the judiciary message, Virginia’s Chief Justice Harry Carrico advocated that a statewide system “would offer the best possible means of providing a higher level of services for indigent defendants . . . .” The haphazard expansion of the public defender system, however, is likely to continue. The state legislature keeps a tight hold on the process and so far has not shown much interest in planning rationally for the futu

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us