Every day, what an honor to work alongside other public defenders and all of the people who work in defender offices. I watch you in your office practice, jail visits, courtroom advocacy, and collaboration with colleagues. Your tireless hope and continuing efforts for your clients inspires me and pushes me to do more.
There are days when I return to the office mad because some other player did or said something disrespectful to clients or to us. You all remind me that without us there would be few witnesses to the pain of the indifference of the other members of the court system they treat our clients as if they are just another orange jumpsuit. Without all of us, there would be no one to say, “ENOUGH.” Without us, there would be no one to defend the Constitution. Without us, the checks and balances are meaningless. Without us, the clients we serve and their families would not have real advocacy. The Sixth Amendment would not be a reality.
So, as we close out last week and the celebration of Gideon’s 55th Anniversary and Public Defense Week, thank you for all you do, clients, lawyers, investigators, administrative staff, social workers, families of our clients, and communities for making the Sixth Amendment of a reality and not just an idea located in a document created over 200 years ago.
Best wishes to everyone as we move into the next year of Gideon v. Wainwright.