This film explores the importance of public defense in the United States criminal justice system. The sixth amendment of the United States Constitution states all those accused of a crime have the right to an attorney. This film examines if and how race plays a role when people are arrested, convicted and incarcerated and how having effective counsel affects the outcome of one’s case and the person as a whole. The public defenders office in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina to act as a case study for public defense across the nation who often defend minorities. The research includes census reports on public defender offices, incarcerated populations and police arrest demographics combined with numerous interviews with public defenders in Mecklenburg County. This short documentary film highlights the significant role public defenders play in the United States criminal justice system by how they fight for their clients’ constitutional rights.
Written and Directed by Katie R. Nelson
Screening Block D, Saturday at 1:30 PM