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BILL MOYERS: Welcome. We lost a great journalist this week.
Anthony Lewis was a longtime reporter and columnist at the “New York Times.” I knew
him during my years in Washington when he made his reputation as our foremost interpreter
of the Supreme Court and the impact of its decisions on civil rights and liberties. As
one legal scholar noted, Lewis had “an incredible talent in making the law not only intelligible
but also in making it compelling.”
This was Tony Lewis’ masterpiece – “Gideon’s Trumpet” – an account of the Supreme Court’s
Gideon v. Wainwright ruling in 1963 that established the constitutional right of criminal defendants
to an attorney, even if they had no money to pay for one. The book has never been out
of print, its’ story the subject of this CBS reports documentary:
MARTIN AGRONSKY ON CBS REPORTS: His name is Clarence Earl Gideon. He argued
there could be no equal justice where the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount
of money he has. He argued there should not be one kind of justice for the rich, another
for the poor. Gideon blew one note on his trumpet. He blew it over and over: a man cannot
get a fair trial without a lawyer. And because he would not retreat one wit from that position,
this man, Clarence Gideon, has wrought a profound change in the course of American Jurisprudence.
BILL MOYERS: Gideon was a drifter with a criminal record,
charged with breaking and entering and robbing a pool hall in Florida. Denied representation,
he defended himself and was sentenced to five years in state prison. From his cell, he exercised
his right to petition the Supreme Court for a fair hearing. When the justices ruled In
Gideon’s favor, hundreds of prisoners who also had been denied their legal rights were
freed or given new trials and our current system of public defenders was born.
But fifty years later that system is floundering. When Gideon v. Wainwright was decided, fewer
than half of all defendants were poor. Now, over 80 percent are. Of the 2.2 million inmates
in the United States, more than sixty percent are members of racial and ethnic minorities,
and the law puts a disproportionate number of them on death row.
Bryan Stevenson found his calling defending the poor and least powerful among us. Straight
from Harvard Law School he went south, eventually to create the Equal Justice Initiative in
Alabama, the state with the highest per capita rate of death sentences in the country. He
and his colleagues have battled excessive and unfair sentencing, helped free prisoners
on death row, challenged the abuse of the incarcerated and mentally ill, and stood up
on behalf of minors, children, prosecuted as adults.
Welcome back…
BRYAN STEVENSON: Thank you.
BILL MOYERS: That Supreme Court decision, Gideon, 50 years
ago said, you have the right to an attorney in a criminal case, even if you cannot afford
it. What was the impact?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Well, it was radical. It was revolutionary.
For decades the poor had really been very vulnerable in our criminal court system and
frequently faced very severe punishments alone. What Gideon did was basically say that our
constitution requires that we treat people equally when their life and when their liberty
is at risk. And it changed the way we thought about counsel for the poor in this country.
At least in theory, at least in doctrine.
BILL MOYERS: Well, I read that there are approximately
15,000 court-appointed defenders representing millions of criminal suspects, defendants,
and inmates all over the country and paid for by the taxpayers. But I also read that
a poor person has a much greater chance of being incarcerated now than when the Supreme
Court handed down that decision. Why is that?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Well, I think it's because we never really
took the right seriously. You look at some of the Court's major decisions in the '50s
and '60s, Brown v. Board of Education, would not have actually changed education for racial
minorities in this country, had not thousands of people marched and fought and made that
decision real.
Gideon was the kind of decision that didn't have advocates, didn't have people out there
insisting that enforcement take place right away. It was really left to the discretion
of states and some states took up the challenge and many states didn't. And so today we have
only 24 states that have statewide public defender systems.
We have lots of states that have done very little to make the right to counsel for poor
people effective. And so 50 years after Gideon, sadly, we still have a system that treats
you better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent. Wealth is still
the determinative factor.
BILL MOYERS: And how have events since then affected our
inability or unwillingness to carry Gideon out?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Everything has been aggravated by mass incarceration.
As you point out in the 1960s, there were 200,000 people in jails, in prisons. The number
of people who were poor facing confinement was a very small percentage, or half. Today,
we have 2.2 million people in jails and prisons, nearly five million people on probation and
parole.
And so our appetite for punishment, for incarceration, for condemnation has made the demand, the
need for lawyers much greater than we've been able to comply with, we've been able to meet.
And so I think quite sadly, the situation for poor people in the criminal justice system
is much, much worse today than it was in 1963, largely as a function of numbers.
BILL MOYERS: What's been the impact of the war on drugs?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Well, the war on drugs has been probably the
biggest factor in driving the prison population up. You've now basically imprisoned, hundreds
of thousands of people for nonviolent, simple possession of crimes like marijuana, that
result in incarceration. So you've thrown hundreds of thousands of people into the system,
and of course this is these are the cases where you actually need a very smart, informed
attorney.
BILL MOYERS: How so?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Well, because you'll be told that if you plead
guilty, you can go home. You're not told that there will be these collateral consequences.
You might lose your right to vote, you'll be barred from public housing, you won't ever
be eligible for food stamps.
You'll be building toward this situation where if you get arrested again, you'll be facing
mandatory sentences like 20 years in prison, or life in prison. And all of that stuff has
to come from an advocate who explains the consequences. Yet what we've done with the
system is create a situation where the lawyers themselves have an incentive to plead everybody
out. About 94 percent of all cases in this country are resolved by a plea.
BILL MOYERS: Do judges have an incentive too?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Oh absolutely.
BILL MOYERS: To get a guilty plea instead of a ten-week
trial?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Absolutely. I mean, again, by throwing hundreds
of thousands of people into the system by, you know, allowing the politics of fear and
anger to throw hundreds of thousands of people into our courts, court judges, trial judges,
are overwhelmed.
They don't have the space, they don't have the resources, they don't have the facilities
to process in a fair and reasonable way all the cases that are coming in. So they absolutely
want cases settled. They don't want cases going to trial. And a lot of them find lawyers
that will cooperate in processing cases in just that way.
BILL MOYERS: Anthony Lewis later confessed that he had
been naïve, his word, to believe that our political system would vindicate the rights
established in that decision. And the political system, as you indicate, has failed to deliver.
What is the chief reason that the political system has turned its back on Gideon?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Well, I think it's largely a function of our
never valuing the plight of the poor, our indifference to the poor in so many areas.
And obviously, when you add to the poor the stigma of crime, of criminality, of criminal,
that further disadvantages them. And so I think, like what we've seen in so many areas,
the poor have always been marginalized.
But I think the real problem with Gideon is in part a function of what the courts themselves
have done. If the courts had insisted on compliance with Gideon, in the way that we did with some
of our anti-discrimination cases in other areas, the political system would have to
respond to that. But our courts didn't do that. We've actually tolerated unbelievably
poor lawyering.
Twenty years after Gideon, the court in case called Strickland v. Washington was asked
to decide what are the reasonable, minimal standards for effective lawyering. And they
created the standard very, very low. And so today, even in death penalty cases, we see
lawyers that are drunk in court, asleep during the trial, who are disbarred and suspended
at percentages way higher than what we see in other kinds of cases. And because the court
has tolerated this kind of lawyering, the political system has had no constitutional
compunction, no institutional imperative, to invest in the kind of system that we really
need.
BILL MOYERS: But isn't that, Bryan, like the country going
to war, and the Pentagon's charged to defend this, but the Pentagon won't commit its army?
Won't fight the war--
BRYAN STEVENSON: It very much is--
BILL MOYERS: The courts are not fighting for it--
BRYAN STEVENSON: That exactly right. And it's one of the reasons
why the court, I think, has to change its perspective on these issues. I mean, you can
look at death penalty cases, which really are the cases where you expect the greatest
investment in the right to counsel--
BILL MOYERS: Your life and death is at stake--
BRYAN STEVENSON: Life and death is at stake. And what the data
tell us is that we have tolerated extremely bad lawyering in these cases. The average
disbarment rate in most states is about one percent of lawyers. Washington State, one
percent of lawyers end up disbarred or suspended. But the “Seattle Post-Intelligencer” looked
at all the 84 cases that resulted in death sentences and found that 20 percent of those
cases involved lawyers who were later suspended or disbarred.
Dallas did, the paper, did the same thing in Texas, looked at 461 cases, 25 percent
of the lawyers suspended or got punishment. And you see these kinds of problems system-wide,
statewide. And yet, the court, in reviewing these cases has frequently said, "Yes, the
lawyer was drunk, yes, the lawyer was asleep, yes, the lawyer hated the client, yes, the
lawyer presented no evidence. But because you haven't proved to us that the defendant
was prejudiced by that, we're going to say that's not a constitutional problem."
BILL MOYERS: What do you mean, that they haven't proved
that the defendant is prejudice by this?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Instead of saying that the right to counsel
insists on a competitive, effective lawyer, in all cases, and particularly in death penalty
cases, we created a standard that said, "Yes, the lawyer should be there. But the lawyer,
and the lawyer should be reasonable. But we're also going to require before we grant any
relief to a person on death row, that they get a new lawyer who will prove to us that
the bad lawyer's conduct actually was consequential."
And so this prejudice standard has become a defining feature of how we regulate lawyering
and the right to counsel in this country. And of course, you have to get another lawyer
to kind of show that. And we don't create a right to counsel for that other lawyer.
I mean, for the 2.2 million people in jails and prisons, hundreds of thousands of whom
are claiming that they are wrongly convicted, there is no right to counsel. They can't actually
even get into court to expose the problems that we're talking about.
BILL MOYERS: Have you personally seen in the courtroom,
defendants affected adversely by incompetent counsel?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Oh my Lord, yes. I mean, too frequently. I've
seen Judy Haney's case, the lawyer was actually so intoxicated, the judge stopped the trial
in the middle of the trial and made the lawyer spend a day in jail, becoming sober, then
picked the trial back up. The client was sentenced to death. And on appeal, the state appellate
court said, "No constitutional problem with that." I've seen dozens of people go before
the judge after waiting for months to get a lawyer appointed. Say, "Your Honor, just,
I'll plead guilty. Just please let me go home." And so they never actually get the lawyer
they're entitled to because the no lawyer has been appointed. We see it too frequently.
It's in so many of these cases, no investigation, no mitigation, we've got death penalty cases
where the lawyer basically tells the jury that he hates his client. Calvin Burdine,
was openly gay, the lawyer basically told the jury, I don't care whether you sentence
him to death or not. He was a criminal defense attorney, representing
a man who was openly gay, about whom he expressed hostility and contempt.
BILL MOYERS: I don't know if you saw this remarkable article
recently in "The Atlantic" magazine by Andrew Cohen--
BRYAN STEVENSON: Uh-huh.
BILL MOYERS: --who wrote that 50 years after Gideon, the
situation for poor defendants is bad everywhere in America, but particularly in the South.
What is it about the South?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Well, I think we didn't, we were resistant
to a lot of the Supreme Court decisions that were coming out during that era. And I think
Gideon was no exception. And so there just wasn't a willingness to invest. It's a poor
region. And obviously providing effective assistance to incarcerated, accused people,
has a resource component.
And getting resources organized is difficult everywhere, but particularly difficult there.
And it's a leadership issue. You know, we have not been very good at embracing some
of these constitutional mandates, there's been resistance and a culture of resistance.
State of Alabama where I practice has no public defender system.
BILL MOYERS: None?
BRYAN STEVENSON: None.
BRYAN STEVENSON: The defendant gets an appointed lawyer by
the judge and in many places the lawyer is appointed based on prior conduct. And so if
you make the judge happy, don't take cases to trial, do the right thing, you get appointed.
If you make the judge mad, take a case to trial, you won't get that appointment.
We have statutory caps on compensation. Half the people on death row in Alabama were represented
by lawyers who by statute could not be paid more than $1,000 for their out of court time.
And that kind of system is necessarily going to produce some very, very bad outcomes. And
you see that all over the country. You know, 70 percent of the people in Florida, misdemeanants,
don't have lawyers when they go before the judge.
BILL MOYERS: How does the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow,
and lynching play out in justice in the South?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Well, I think we have really never confronted
this problem of disfavored people in our society. I don't think we've actually done a very good
job of embracing people who have been victims of our excess, our abuse, our bias, our discrimination.
We've allowed these narratives that emerge, where we feel like it's okay to abuse certain
kinds of people.
And I think that does have a lot to do with what we've seen over the last 200 years. I
mean, you know, slavery really wasn't well understood in this country. I don't believe
we actually did a very good job of appreciating that in America, we had a slave system that
was actually a caste system. Where we enslaved people because we didn't think they were as
good as the rest of us. And during that era, we redefined people who
were formerly enslaved as criminals. We used convict leasing and other systems and lynching
to basically create this narrative of criminality. And once you designate somebody as a criminal,
you can do anything you want to do with them. And the Jim Crow era, the civil rights era
was similarly, I think, compromised by a proper narrative.
We didn't finish the civil rights movement with the commitment to a process of truth
and reconciliation, which is what other countries have recognized you have to do. After decades
of human rights abuses, you can't just stop with the law and expect things will be okay.
We didn't do that. We didn't spend time talking about the trauma, all of that humiliation,
all of that degradation that African Americans experienced. All of that abuse that white
people in this country experienced by being told that they were actually better than other
people because of the color of their skin, we didn't deal with that.
And because we didn't deal with it, we then created, in my judgment, a new legacy, which
is evident in our system of mass incarceration. We throw people away, we disfavor them. We're
now seeing it in the immigration context. Where tens of thousands of people who are
undocumented are being shelved into detention facilities, because that's what we do with
our unwanted.
And we've got to understand that narrative, if we're going to actually get at effective
remedies for dealing with things like the right to counsel, a fair treatment of the
accused.
BILL MOYERS: Even people of empathy must have a hard time
imagining what it's like to be without any money, absolutely poor, standing before the
court alone. From your experience, what is it like?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Well, I think it's terrifying. You're having
to make decisions with no understanding of what the consequence of those decisions are
going to be. You tend to get tunnel vision. You're looking for the first exit. Anything
that somebody says to you will get you out, you take with, again, without appreciating
what those collateral consequences.
It is what we mean by injustice. It is what we mean by unfairness. You know, to be in
a fight, which is what our system is structured to facilitate. It's an adversarial system,
with a state with all of its resources, with all of its might, with all of its power, is
going come after you and try to take away your liberty. Sometimes try to take away your
life. And it is a fight. And to be in that fight unarmed, unaided, uninformed, exposed,
hated, disfavored, is pretty overwhelming
BILL MOYERS: How does this weigh on the public defenders?
You know a lot of them. What's it like to be on the front lines of a system like this?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Yeah. I think it can be very, very dispiriting.
I, you know, I have the privilege of teaching and I have these wonderful students who are
so committed and so energetic and they go and they work in a defender office where to
be effective, they need a caseload of about 100, maybe 150. And very quickly, they're
given a caseload of 500. Some places--
BILL MOYERS: 500 when--
BRYAN STEVENSON: Yes, the A.B.A., the American Bar Association
says, the limit really should be around 100 or 150. Yet in many of these defender programs,
defender offices lawyers are handling cases, 500 cases a year.
BILL MOYERS: Wow.
BRYAN STEVENSON: Some places 700 cases a year. And you can
make any great lawyer ineffective if you give them more than they can manage. And it's dispiriting.
And what a lot of them do is they leave. And of course when they leave, they create a vacuum,
which results in poor people not having advocates that care about them, not having lawyers who
are prepared to fight for them. It's one of the great tragedies of, again,
what we've done. And you see it at the top end, you got people literally dying for legal
assistance on death row in this country, and you see it at the very bottom, where misdemeanants
never see lawyers before they forfeit very basic freedoms and liberties because they
don't know any different.
BILL MOYERS: Give me a profile of a public defender.
BRYAN STEVENSON: Sure. So a profile in many urban offices today
will go to their office, they'll have a stack of files that will have maybe 30, 40 cases
that are active that day, they've never met those clients, they'll go to the courthouse,
there'll be a room of dozens of people sitting up there. Their cases will be called in about
an hour. And they'll have about that much time to meet 20 or 30 clients, figure out
what the case is about and then go before the judge on the trial, on essentially the
adjudication.
BILL MOYERS: All in one day?
BRYAN STEVENSON: All in one day. And I've been in courtrooms
where the appointed lawyers don't even go and meet the clients. The judge will call
out a name and the client will stand up and the lawyer will roam around and then they'll
go up and three minutes later, they'll plead guilty. And tragically, that happens far too
often and in too many places.
BILL MOYERS: Didn't you and your colleagues do research
showing that children of color tend to be sentenced more harshly?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Oh, no question. And I think one of the tragic
aspects of what we've seen over the last 40 years is what it's done to children. Again,
at the time of Gideon, there were virtually no children in the adult criminal justice
system. Today, there are a quarter of a million of kids in the adult criminal justice system,
in jails and prisons--
BILL MOYERS: Kids being under--
BRYAN STEVENSON: Under the age of 18, 17 and younger, some
as young as eight and nine years of age. We eliminated the minimum age for trying children
as adults. We subjected children to execution, which we only banned in 2005, to death in
prison through life imprisonment without parole. Nearly 3,000 children in this country have
been sentenced to die in prison. And yes, there are huge racial disparities about 74
percent of the youngest kids serving life without parole are African American or Latino.
And again, all of this creates this cultural problem that I'm very concerned about. What
I hate about what we're doing is not only is it destroying communities where you have
high percentages of young men of color in jail and prison, it's also changing the attitudes
of these kids. These young kids, 13 and 14 tell me that they don't believe they're going
to be free or alive by the time they're 21, because that's what they see happening in
their communities. And that is a real tragedy that I think speaks to a lot of very serious
problems that we have to confront.
BILL MOYERS: You won a landmark decision before the Supreme
Court last year, what was that about?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Miller versus Alabama was a case where we
challenged the constitutionality of life without parole sentences for children. Evan Miller
was 14 years of age, the second case, Kuntrell Jackson also involved a 14 year old. There
are hundreds of children, 13, 14, 15, 16 who have been sentenced to die in prison. And
most of them got these sentences in mandatory sentencing proceedings. And what we asked
the court to do was to ban mandatory life without parole sentences for children. And
the court did that in a five-four ruling.
BILL MOYERS: What do you think was the convincing or compelling
turning point in the argument?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Well, I think it was really recognizing that
children are different. That we can't be indifferent to the status of children. We protect children
in virtually every other area of law. We even punish people more harshly if they victimize
a child. We don't let them drink, we don't let them smoke, we recognize their limitations.
But in the criminal justice system, over the last 30 years, we've just abandoned any consciousness
about what it means to be a child. And so it was important for us to explain to them
the developmental differences between children and adults, but to also explain to them that
to say to any child of 13, that you're fit only to die in prison, is cruel. And it's
also unusual. We're the only country in the world that imposes that kind of sentence on
a child that young.
BILL MOYERS: "Every person," you said, "is more than the
worst thing they've ever done." And you said even the court has recognized this sort of
reality.
BRYAN STEVENSON: I think that we too frequently define these
legal rulings through the lens of a crime. And we think the crime is what we're actually
condemning and sentencing. And there's no question that crimes can be brutal and horrific
and painful. But we give justice to people. And we're not actually condemning crimes,
we're condemning people.
You know, I think most people listening to this could never imagine that their 12 or
13 or 14-year-old child could to anything that would justify putting that child in prison
until they die. We just can't imagine it. And we can imagine our kids doing some really
bad things.
BILL MOYERS: Right.
BRYAN STEVENSON: And what happens of course is that when you
don't see the child as your child, which happens to a lot of racial minorities, and undocumented
children and native children in these court systems, we don't take that attitude.
You know, there are a lot of us that are talking about a pipeline, a school-to-jail pipeline,
the schoolhouse-to-jailhouse pipeline, because even in school systems now, we're arresting
children six and seven and eight year old kids, we put them in handcuffs, we treat them
like criminals. And it's not something that any responsible parent could ever imagine
being legitimate as applied to their children.
And we just have to have this notion that all children are children. I mean, that's
basically my argument to the court, it's been my argument to policy makers. All children
are children. You can't say, "That's not really a child because he's black or because he's
brown or because he's Latino, because he's had some problems, because he's disabled,
because he's angry, because he's homeless." You can't say that that makes him not a child.
And it's the thrust of that argument really that we're trying to present to courts and
policy makers.
BILL MOYERS: What are the consequences of what you've described?
Of what's happening?
BRYAN STEVENSON: It's been pretty horrific. I have been in
jails, where I've met young clients who I've had to hold while they cried hysterically
after explaining to me that they had been abused by adults in that facility. You're
ten times more likely to be the victim of a sexual assault if you're a child in an adult
jail or prison.
You're much more likely to commit suicide. And when I work with these kids, I see a tremendous
amount of pain and abuse. I've had clients who've had the names of people carved into
their skin who have abused and raped them. And when you're dealing with that kind of
pain and anguish, when you hold a kid after he's cried for an hour because you're trying
to, he's trying to make sense of what's happening to him, you leave the facility and you say,
"Who is responsible for this?"
And then when you realize that we are all responsible for it, it does make this issue
a very compelling issue. I think it makes the need to say something an overwhelming
need and I think the obligation to do something a priority. And that's part of the reason
why we've been pushing these issues.
BILL MOYERS: You gave a TED talk last year—
BRYAN STEVENSON AT TED: I've come to TED because I believe that many
of you understand that the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
That we cannot be full evolved human beings until we care about human rights and basic
dignity. That all of our survival is tied to the survival of everyone. That our visions
of technology and design and entertainment and creativity have to be married with visions
of humanity, compassion and justice. And more than anything, for those of you who share
that, I've simply come to tell you to keep your eyes on the prize, hold on. Thank you
very much.
BILL MOYERS: You got one of the longest, if not the longest
and most intense standing ovation of anybody who had appeared before TED. And a number
of people called up and pledged I think over a million dollars to your nonprofit down there
in Alabama. And yet public opinion seems more strongly and sternly than ever to resist paying
for, to defend the poor. How do we close that contradiction?
BRYAN STEVENSON: I think we have to raise the question of justice.
We have to raise the question of fairness. We can't analyze these issues without appreciating
that if we're not willing to fund an adequate system, we're going to be unjust. We're going
to be unfair. We‘re going to throw people away in ways that are not consistent with
our values. And I think we have to raise that.
I do think we have to educate too. I mean, the reality is, is that we could reduce the
prison population by 50 percent in a very short period of time, not increase threats
to public safety, bring down the cost of managing the criminal justice system, and increase
the resources for fair and adequate defense. But it's going to take a lot of leadership,
which we haven't seen in a long time.
BILL MOYERS: Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, as you know
introduced legislation just last week called the Gideon's Promise Act of 2013. It would
give the justice department the ability to sue states and counties that fail to uphold
the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. It also promises money to states to improve indigent
defense. Do you expect anything to come out of this?
BRYAN STEVENSON: It's a first step, but I actually think until
we appreciate that we are in a crisis, that what we're doing is just fundamentally unjust,
that we're throwing hundreds of thousands of people away in ways that cannot be reconciled
with a country committed to fairness and see it as a crisis in many of the same ways that
we saw the civil rights conflicts of the '60s, as a crisis moment and what we were doing
to the desperately poor in the '20s and '30s as a crisis moment we're not going to have
the will to actually move forward.
I think that Congress can play a role. But I think the court plays the critical role
here. If the court starts saying, "Look, we are not going to tolerate these kinds of trials
where the lawyers are unprepared and unskilled and if we challenge some of what we've seen
in some of these places, I think we can turn this issue around." But it's going to take
that kind of intervention.
BILL MOYERS: What are a few things you think we could do
to turn this around?
BRYAN STEVENSON: Well, I think we should take advantage of
the fact that we can't afford to keep putting all these people in jails and prisons and
immediately demand political reforms. Let's stop this misguided war on drugs, let's stop
incarcerating people at these high rates for a simple drug possession. Let's stop putting
people back in prison for simple technical violations. That would bring down the prison
population, which would be a first step. I think we should demand of our courts a commitment
to Gideon. I think we should renew that commitment. And stop insisting that the poor person go
find a volunteer lawyer to show the court that their bad lawyer actually did something
consequential.
And we talk about this as a presumed prejudice standard. If the court would presume prejudice
if the lawyer's drunk, intoxicated, didn't investigate didn't meet the client until right
before, just presume prejudice there, that would radicalize our commitment to the public
defense system. And finally, I think we created an atmosphere
where everybody gets revved up around a particular crime. And these bad crimes create bad laws
that then become bad policy. And we need to do a little bit of that soul searching that
allows us to be more honest about what justice requires. The people who need the protection
of the law, the people who need our commitment to the rule of law, are not the powerful people,
not the rich and the famous.
It's the poor people. It's the incarcerated people. It's the accused people that actually
need a commitment to the rule of law. And so we have to understand that ultimately,
that's where we're going to be judged. We're not going to be judged by how well we're doing
for the rich and famous. We're going to be judged by how well we do with the Clarence
Gideon’s of this world, which are frankly everywhere these days.
BILL MOYERS: Bryan Stevenson, thank you very much for being
here and thank you very much for the work you do.
BRYAN STEVENSON: Thank you.
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Bryan Stevenson on Evening the Odds in American Justice

4954 Folder Collection
劉瑞怜 published on April 11, 2015
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    Repeat the same sentence to enhance listening ability

  3. 3. Shortcut

    Shortcut!

  4. 4. Close caption

    Close the English caption

  5. 5. Embed

    Embed the video to your blog

  6. 6. Unfold

    Hide right panel

  1. Listening Quiz

    Listening Quiz!

  1. Click to open your notebook

  1. UrbanDictionary 俚語字典整合查詢。一般字典查詢不到你滿意的解譯,不妨使用「俚語字典」,或許會讓你有滿意的答案喔