The Champion

August 2013 , Page 09 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

Indigent Defense in America: A Time of Despair, but a Shining Ray of Hope (Inside NACDL)

By Norman L. Reimer

Read more Inside NACDL columns.

The 50th anniversary year of the Gideon decision has been nothing less than tumultuous. As I have noted previously in this column, for the first time since the adoption of the Criminal Justice Act in 1964, the federal indigent defense system has been under assault.1 That system has been a model for indigent reformers seeking to address the pervasive inadequacy of indigent defense services throughout the states. A robust, fully resourced hybrid program with outstanding federal defenders serving as the primary defenders, supplemented by outstanding panels of private attorneys, has delivered first-rate service to clients — zealous and effective advocacy that has fulfilled the promise of Gideon in federal jurisdictions. But now that model has been seriously degraded.

A Time of Despair for the Federal Indigent Defense System

Beginning with a budget cut that preceded the sequestration mandated by the Budget Control Act, and then the imposition of far more draconian budget cuts trig

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