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Federal Defenders: Face of the Sixth Amendment
May 11, 2012
The Constitution’s Sixth Amendment states that in all criminal prosecutions “the accused shall . . .
have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” But what does that mean for defendants who are penniless? In federal courts, the answer is the federal defender program.
“Federal defenders nationally are the face of the Sixth Amendment,” says Carol Brook, chief federal defender for the Northern District of Illinois.
“We train the lawyers in our offices all across the country to provide the best possible defense, and we work with and train private lawyers all across the country, called panel attorneys, who also take appointed cases and are an integral and invaluable part of the representation of . . . people charged in federal court who can’t afford to hire private counsel,” she says.
Learn more about federal defenders in this video.