Tag Archives: public defender

You have a right to an Attorney if you can’t afford one, but you still have to pay

John Oliver takes on the overworked, underpaid challenges of the public defenders in our criminal justice system. I know some very good attorneys who are public defenders… or were until they found a job that paid a living wage. Fittingly, several of the examples he uses for this article are from Florida… most disturbing is the guy, on Hospice, who gets arrested for not having a valid driver’s license, and spends too months in jail… and then they spend thousands of dollars trying to recoup the fees and assessments. It’s symptomatic of bigger problems with the system.


Gideon’s Army is Screening Tonight at the Miami International Film Festival

Gideon’s Army, the documentary film detailing life in the trenches

Public Defender Travis Williams in "Gideon's Army"

Public Defender Travis Williams in “Gideon’s Army”

for several public defenders, is screening tonight at 7 pm at the Miami International Film Festival. Check it out, tell me how it is!

“Gideon’s Army,” a Documentary on Public Defenders Premieres at Sundance

Public Defender Travis Williams in "Gideon's Army"

Public Defender Travis Williams in “Gideon’s Army”

I pay the highest respect to those public defenders- who work for low salaries, while paying off their law school debts, to defend the rights of the poor and downtrodden. These are the people who are the first line of defense for justice. Both public defenders and prosecutors are underpaid for the service they perform in our state; I know this firsthand having started my career as an Assistant State Attorney. I am looking forward to seeing this film: http://gideonsarmythefilm.com/


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainwright decision, a case that originated here in Florida. That case established that those accused of serious crimes are entitled to be provided competent representation. It’s easy to dismiss the accused as mere criminals, but the public defenders that represent the accused help protect the rights that all of us enjoy, and are the last line of

defense for the wrongly accused.