Gideon 50 Years Later in New Orleans Symposium a Success

Local and national experts convened at Tulane Law School September 6th for our first symposium: Race, Poverty and Public Defense: Gideon 50 Years Later in New Orleans exploring the history and future of indigent defense reform, community-oriented defense practice, mass incarceration and sentencing reform. Attendance was near capacity and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, due in large part to the caliber of the panelists and dynamic discussion.

One attendee commented, "Never before has funding been so interesting," while one student is now seriously considering public defense as a career path.

 The Honorable Ricky Wicker, Representatives Wesley Bishop and Joe Lopinto, Retired Judge Calvin Johnson, former US Attorney Jim Letten, Secretary of Corrections Jim LeBlanc, New Orleans City Councilmember Susan Guidry, LPDB Chair Frank Neuner and board members Pam Metzger, Majeeda Snead and Luceia LeDoux, NLADA's Mark Houldin, Robin Steinberg from The Bronx Defenders, and OPD's own Derwyn Bunton, among many others, led a lively conversation on the importance of public defense, where we've been, where we're headed, and the path to a better system.

Following the final panel discussing the future of funding reform, Chief Defender Derwyn Bunton presented Councilmember Susan Guidry a special recognition of the City Council's commitment to fairness in the administration of justice and its support of the Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel. Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who was unable to attend, was also recognized for his continued support of public defense.

DDB award presentation to Susan Guidry 640x489

The event could not have been possible without the generous donations of our sponsors and partners: Tulane Law School, Open Society Foundation, Jones Walker, Southern Poverty Law Center, Stone Pigman, Tulane's National Lawyers Guild, Black Law Student Association, American Constitution Society and Public Interest Law Foundation chapters.


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