‘Chasing Gideon’: shocking failures of the justice system in defending the poor

From the Seattle Times, a review of Karen Houppert’s book:

In the abstract, “everybody knows” that low-income individuals charged with committing serious crimes rarely receive good representation because court-appointed lawyers (usually public defenders) are inexperienced, underpaid and overworked.

When the abstraction becomes reality involving flesh-and-blood male and female defendants with lots to lose, the shortcomings of the criminal justice system become shockingly clear.  Journalist Karen Houppert, in her investigative book “Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People’s Justice,” replaces the abstraction with two true-crime sagas set in Washington State — Spokane County and Grant County, to be precise.

 

 

One thought on “‘Chasing Gideon’: shocking failures of the justice system in defending the poor

  1. Ambivalent Imbroglio

    I read this and highly recommend it. I wrote a long review that gotten eaten by the Goodreads app on my phone, but I’ll just say that the first chapter featuring Carol Dee Huneke is awesome and inspirational and everyone should read at least that much. The rest is geared much more to the masses, but Huneke shows in the first chapter what it means to be a real public defender. Loved it.

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