We’ve recently marked the 50th anniveresary of Gideon v. Wainwright, a landmark Supreme Court ruling that granted the right to an attorney to defendants who couldn’t otherwise afford legal representation. As Seth Freed Wessler reported for Colorlines, the past five decades have only deepened racial inequality in public defense.
It’s with that context in mind that HBO is set to release a new documentary that follows public defenders in the Deep South. And it’s no easy task. The attorneys are often juggling dozens of cases at a time with limited resources, not to mention the crushing law school debt that’s become a depressing feature of the profession. Tambay Obenson applauded it over at Shadow and Act in January, writing that the film “paints a rather sobering portrait of the lives” of the film’s central characters.
Tune into HBO on July 1 to watch Gideon’s Army.