Posted: June 28, 2013 2:00 PM
On Monday, July 1st at 9 p.m., HBO Documentary Films presents “Gideon’s Army,” which features three Southern public defenders and the challenges that they face in providing adequate representation to their indigent clients. The film is titled for the Supreme Court ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright, which found that poor people are entitled to appointed counsel. Renewed attention came to the issue last March with the 50th anniversary of the ruling.
Also featured in the film is the president and founder of Gideon’s Promise, (also known as the Southern Public Defender Training Center) Jonathan Rapping. The New York Times, which counts the film among its “critics picks,” writes in today’s review:
Some of the defenders’ strongest support comes from the Southern Public Defender Training Center, whose charismatic leader, Jonathan Rapping, offers practical instruction and group sessions at which the public defenders air their frustrations and share their war stories. Mr. Rapping praises them as “foot soldiers” who will eventually change “this unjust, cruel, inhumane criminal justice system.”
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