The Public Defender’s Office was established due to the outcome of the case Gideon vs. Wainwright; 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of this landmark case. On March 18, 1963, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that under the 14th amendment, state courts are required to provide counsel to defendants who are unable to afford a private attorney. This decision led to the Office of the Public Defender.
-JUSTICE HUGO L. BLACK
U.S. SUPREME COURT
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
“While we take this time to celebrate a historic decision and honor those who provide defense to the poor, it is also a time to reflect on where we are and what else can be done to guarantee that the right to counsel means more than just access to counsel, more than having a lawyer beside an impoverished defendant when the verdict is rendered and the sentence imposed, more than having a lawyer for the direct appeal of a conviction and sentence.” Read More...
Assistant Public Defender
2nd Judicial Circuit, Florida
Florida Defender Magazine Winter 2012