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The Champion

November 2012 , Page 61 

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Gideon's Champions: Kindel and Williamson Defend the Indigent Accused

By Bonnie Hoffman

Read more Gideon's Champions columns.

Kindel and Williamson Defend the Indigent Accused

Whether they have lived a life focused on defending those unable to defend themselves, or whether they are lured into the field by the siren’s song of trial work, for many who practice indigent defense it is truly a calling. But oftentimes the desire to do something one is passionate about is tempered by the realities of the job. Such is the case for Denver, Colo., deputy public defenders Shanelle Kindel and Karin Williamson.

As far back as she can remember, Karin Williamson has always fought for those who were weaker. “I went to elementary school in Los Angeles. I lived in a predominately white neighborhood where they bused children to our school from East L.A. Most of the kids from East L.A. were Hispanic and barely spoke English. I was their mouthpiece, their little gringa,” she said. Williamson recalled the day one of the Hispanic kids brought a Paula Abdul tape to school to share with another friend. “Some of the white ki

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