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Former Vice President, Walter Mondale, penned an interesting article this past Tuesday concerning the US Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright. This is the case that help that a poor person in Florida had the right to court appointed counsel. But, as the economy continues to tax the court budgets we are seeing tougher standards for public defender appointments.

Mondale makes the point that a report published by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School last fall, "Eligible for Justice," found that if Gideon were to face criminal charges in Florida today, he might well be denied a public defender. A person that had $25.00 to his name and considered indigent 45 years ago now has too much money.

The Minnesota courts are facing some of the same economic issues as other states. In recent years the public defender ranks have been cut significantly. It is important that we protect individual rights. For those that are facing the government in a criminal trial it is vital that the ideas of Gideon and the vital rights of the poor be protected.

If you are facing criminal charges it’s important that you review all of your rights with an experienced Criminal Attorney that protects all of your rights. For the poor it’s imperative that we keep these protections strong.

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