Posted Apr 15, 2009
by Ari Shapiro
"We're not there just to convict. Our job is to find justice. And I need a person standing with the defendant to help me do that."
Robert Johnson, criminal prosecutor
Morning Edition, April 15, 2009. The American legal system guarantees "equal justice under law." Those words, carved in stone on the facade of the Supreme Court, are a constitutional promise that everyone will have the same opportunity for justice.
But a new report by the bipartisan Constitution Project says the United States has broken that promise for poor people accused of crimes. The report is the most in-depth study of indigent defense in decades.