Movies and the Law

    I watched a great movie today, Gideon’s Trumpet. It stars Henry Fonda who plays folk hero Clarence Earl Gideon, an indigient person convicted of a felony in Florida before mandatory public defenders were required by law.

    Watching the movie reminded me of the power of the courts to right wrongs (in this case, the Supreme Court granted cert. to Gideon even though his petition was hand-written from prison), but also the importance of quality legal representation for all defendants.

    That’s the problem though. The system is still messed up. Things are certainly better than it was in the 1960’s when the Gideon case took place, but in Oklahoma (and I assume other states as well) folks who are still very poor are denied counsel because they aren’t poor enough. This isn’t right.

    (Ok, I gotta get to bed. I’ll talk more on this subject another time.)