Thursday, February 07, 2013

Gideon's Army - a Documentary

Dawn Porter, a lawyer turned filmmaker, recently presented her new documentary about public defenders in the U.S. South, Gideon's Army, at the Sundance film festival. You can find a story in the New York Times about the film, with a 6 minute video, here. The official site of the documentary has 3 videos including an interview with Porter and an 18 minute interview with her and Travis Williams, one of the public defenders featured in the film, which appeared on the news program Democracy Now!.
Since the 1963 Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright, any person accused of a felony has the right to be represented by a lawyer. If the accused cannot afford one, the state must appoint a public defender. The documentary shows the work of three of these young lawyers in the Deep South.