Next week marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most significant Supreme Court decisions this country’s criminal justice system has ever known – Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), which guaranteed criminal defendants the right to a defense attorney regardless of their ability to pay.
When De-Bug started 10 years ago, young workers discussed the injustice of being paid $8 an hour in Silicon Valley. Now, in 2012, an increase in the minimum wage may finally take place. A version of this article first appeared in the Mercury News.
Supported by the local civil rights community, De-Bug's ACJP was able to raise the legal funds needed for a fourteen year old to fight a deportation order. The soccer tournament also turned out to be an epic sporting event that has redefined the concept of competition.
The heads of three of the most important, yet rarely talked about, legal institutions in the Bay Area are moving on. Author Raj Jayadev says the measure of their work can be found in the partnerships they formed with the communities they served.
The missing piece from the national attention on the tragedy of Trayvon Martin is the role of the prosecutor, and the enormous authority they have in any potential case to determine if a criminal act has, or has not, occurred.