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Why Do So Few Public Defenders Become Judges?

14 Menit

Why Do So Few Public Defenders Become Judges?

19 Maret 2022

Senate confirmation hearings begin next week for Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. If she is confirmed she will be the first Black woman on the high court and the first public defender. Judge Jackson served as a federal public defender between 2005 and 2007. She defended several Guantanamo detainees and others accused of crimes, a fact that her critics use to suggest that she works to free terrorists and put criminals back on the street. The 6th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees every criminal defendant the right to an attorney. The right to have effective counsel, along with presumption of innocence are the basic principles of fairness in our legal system. But too often, having worked as a defense attorney is a stop sign on the road to the bench. We speak with Martin Sabelli, president of the board of directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He explains why our legal system needs more judges with a background in criminal defense. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community. Email us at Learn more about sponsor message choices: NPR Privacy Policy


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