California’s Leading Role in Providing Criminal Defense to the Poor

Mar 16, 2023

This Saturday marks the 60th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright. This landmark Supreme Court decision established a constitutional right to counsel for defendants in state criminal courts, even if they cannot pay. In California, the right to legal representation dates back to 1872, and the way the state’s 58 counties have ensured it has shifted over time. Today, California’s indigent defense system is poised for more change.