Criminal Justice: A Dearth of Defenders

To a television viewer sated with Perry Mason, Sam Benedict, Defenders and assorted colleagues, the supply of first-rate criminal lawyers may appear plentiful enough. But outside the range of the TV camera, the breed is in danger of dying out. Such noble concepts as "right to counsel, fair trial, and due process" will become meaningless, warned New York State Chief Judge Charles S. Desmond last week, unless more lawyers are willing to represent criminal defendants. Addressing Boston University's graduating law class, he called on law schools to stop pointing students "at the two admired goals of Wall Street law...

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