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‘Gideon’ gave legal counsel to the poor

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Fifty years ago the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Gideon vs. Wainwright decision guaranteed a state-paid lawyer for people facing prison time who can’t afford a private attorney.

The Minnesota public defender system has come a long way since then, but things were not as bad pre-Gideon as you might think — and the current condition of Minnesota’s public defender system is not as rosy as many believe.

Minnesota out front

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