Poor defenses [electronic resource] : the American legal profession and the problem of the "indigent accused" in the twentieth century
- Sara Mayeux.
- Physical description
- 1 online resource.
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|3781 2016 M||In-library use|
- This dissertation reconstructs the history of public defender offices in the United States and, more generally, the American legal profession's efforts to conceptualize and institutionalize a right to state-provided counsel in criminal cases, from the first public defender experiments beginning in the 1910s through the troubled implementation of the Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright in the 1960s and 1970s. Although journalists and legal scholars have told parts of this story, this dissertation is the first historical study to piece together the story as a whole, using not just published judicial opinions and legal writings, but also a variety of archival materials, including lawyers' personal papers, correspondence, and organizational records. The dissertation argues that the problem of the "indigent accused" was both produced by and rendered ultimately insoluble by two enduring features of American law and governance, each of which has cultural, social, and political dimensions: adversarialism and federalism.
- Publication date
- Submitted to the Department of History.
- Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2016.
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