☰ In this section

The Champion

August 2003 , Page 65 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

'What a country!'

By Daniel J. Derienzo

Read more A Gideon Moment columns.

From 1991 to 1998, I had the pleasant experience of serving as Public Defender for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) on the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota. The CNMI (located near Guam), is a United States commonwealth and is part of the Ninth Circuit. Many of the defendants, however, are from China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines and other Pacific Rim Countries and are unfamiliar with Gideon v. Wainwright.

One of the wonderful aspects of working abroad as a public defender is introducing rights and freedoms, which we sometimes take for granted, to people who are unfamiliar with the protections of the United States Constitution. The concept of an attorney, much less an appointed attorney at no cost, is foreign to many of the peoples living and working on Saipan. In fact, the concept of being presumed innocent was so unique and novel that I often had to spend hours with many clients convincing them of their own innocence.

Suitcase and

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 idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.
Advertisement Advertise with Us

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us