2013 Annual Report

2013-annual-cover-12013 Year In Review

Fifty years ago, a Florida drifter changed the legal landscape forever. In five handwritten pages to the U.S. Supreme Court, Clarence Earl Gideon asserted he had the right to a lawyer - even with no money in his pocket. The United States Supreme Court agreed. In the landmark case, Gideon v. Wainwright, the Court ruled the right to a lawyer is fundamental, essential to the fair trial and cannot be denied. Moreover, the right means everyone is entitled to effective representation. The Orleans Public Defenders Office (OPD) strives each day to provide our clients zealous legal representation, breathing life into this constitutional guarantee.

We all have much in common with Clarence Gideon. We believe in fairness and justice. Further, we are taught that fairness and justice are owed - inalienable - to all of us. What we may forget is, in the end, we are all Gideon.

Annual Reports offer a chance to look back and reflect on the past year; this report was no different. 2013 was a year full of challenges, victories and defeats, both big and small, and a renewed dedication to the call of Gideon. Each one of us has a very personal reason why we continue on in often arduous circumstances, but together we push forward working for change and justice. We welcome you to join us on the journey.

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Orleans Public Defenders
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    Tel: (504) 821-8101
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