Lawyers: The Bar Behind Bars

Any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him.

—Gideon v. Wainwright

With that landmark opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court last year forced all state criminal courts to appoint lawyers for all indigent defendants charged with more than petty crimes. Since 60% of criminal defendants are indigent, hundreds of U.S. lawyers are in for heavy duty. And since the rule may apparently be applied retroactively, as a New York federal court recently ruled, hundreds of convicts are...

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