The Champion

June 2009 , Page 7 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

A Call to Action in Support of the Right to Counsel: Federal Right — Federal Responsibility (Inside NACDL)

By Norman L. Reimer

Read more Inside NACDL columns.

Proclaiming the existence of a right does not make it so. Nearly a half century after the Supreme Court held in Gideon1 that the right to counsel is a necessity, and that the states must provide counsel to represent the indigent, fulfillment of that promise remains far from universal.2 NACDL’s recently released report, Minor Crimes, Massive Waste: The Terrible Toll of America’s Broken Misdemeanor Courts, describes a vast misdemeanor conviction infrastructure in which counsel is either not provided or is provided under such oppressive circumstances that counsel often cannot provide constitutionally mandated effective assistance.3 (Read Maureen Dimino’s article on page 36 of this issue.)

Just a few weeks before NACDL issued its report, the National Right to Counsel Committee released Justice Denied: America’s Continuing Neglect of our Constitutional Right to Counsel. This bi-partisan committee — comprised of nationally renowned judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, law enforcement officia

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