Attorney General Eric Holder Highlights BJA NTTAC at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Gideon v. Wainwright

On March 15, the Department of Justice (DOJ) commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright. This historical event honored the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling – made 50 years ago – that state courts should be required under the 14th Amendment to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their own attorneys. In his speech, Attorney General Eric Holder called attention to the shared responsibilities of all professionals from across the nation’s legal community to uphold the legacy enacted by Gideon v. Wainwright, safeguard due process, and preserve the basic rights of every citizen. As Attorney General Holder highlighted those initiatives that reaffirmed the DOJ’s steadfast commitment to protect the rights and interests of the most vulnerable, he called attention to the Bureau of Justice Assistance National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC). He highlighted BJA’s and NTTAC’s commitment to fulfill the rights guaranteed by Gideon, stating, “The National Training and Technical Assistance Center will commit a total of $90,000 for technical assistance to help several states meet their constitutional obligations to provide competent representation for the poor.” To learn more about other DOJ initiatives that support the legacy of Gideon v. Wainwright and to read the full transcript of Attorney General Holder’s speech, click on the link below.