“Public defenders are punching above their weight every day.”   As a result, there is a lack of consistent application of the 6th Amendment right to counsel for defendants across the country.   Due to numerous reasons, including under-funding for the public defense system, many defendants are not provided with legal representation.  This results in a higher risk of wrongful convictions for indigent people, as well as increased expensive appeals.

Gideonat50.org focuses on how the lack of consistent public defense systems affects defendants, as well as the state as a whole.   The site provides an abundant amount of information about the importance of upholding the 6th Amendment, as well as information about how we can improve our public defense systems.   Some of the examples the site gives of states that have taken steps towards reform are especially interesting.  These stories can be found by selecting the “State Reform” link under the “Issue” tab.  The site also provides useful advocacy tools and descriptions of what they view as quality public defense.

There are also other interesting resources to learn more about ensuring 6th Amendment rights, such as media and book suggestions that deal with the topic and information about some of the experts on the issue.   The various experts all have their bios on the site so that you may learn more about them and the steps they are taking to create a better public defense system.

Finally, the site has tabs in which you can select various states and learn about the public defense system, as well as ways that you can personally take action to further educate yourself and others about this important issue.  Overall, this site is extremely informative and provides several leads to other resources if you are interested in learning more about how our country can improve our public defense system to ensure that each citizen is being afforded all of their rights.