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Right to counsel video available

A new “Court Shorts” video, focusing on the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, has been released by the federal judiciary, expanding a series of short video and audio podcasts that teach young people about the Constitution, courts and individual rights.

Jonathan Feldman

Jonathan W. Feldman

The five-minute video was released to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Criminal Justice Act, which provides paid appointed counsel for federal criminal defendants who cannot afford a lawyer. It explains how a landmark 1963 case, Gideon v. Wainwright, helped guarantee the right to appointed counsel to Americans in every state. It also answers a series of questions posed by students: What is the right to counsel and why is it important? What happens if someone can’t afford a lawyer? Does it apply to young people?

Answering those questions and others are two U.S. District Court judges; Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman of the Western District of New York; an assistant federal prosecutor; and current and former assistant federal public defenders.

“Court Shorts” are educational tools that students and teachers can use to learn more about the judicial branch. Previous videos include discussions of trial by jury and an impartial judiciary, and audio podcasts discuss judicial review and separation of powers.

For more information, visit the Educational Resources page at www.uscourts.gov.

 

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