Former AG Eric Holder calls for civil right to counsel
09/29/2016, Miscellaneous, All Basic Human Needs
At this year’s NLADA Exemplar Awards Dinner, one of the featured speakers was former U.S. AG Eric Holder. After talking about the problems with indigent defense and the bond system, he said the following:
It is time, it is past time, for this great nation to embrace a civil analog to Gideon, and to ensure that in those life-altering situations that so many of our fellow citizens face, the right to adequate legal representation is mandated. There will be those who reflexively say, “well, we don’t have the resources to do” that which I call on the nation to do. But let’s be honest: we do not lack the resources or at least the means by which those resources might be generated. We lack the will. We have turned away from and chosen not to hear the cries who live on the margins of our society. This is a stain on our democracy.
You can watch his remarks (the right to counsel portion starts at around 1:29:50).