Gideon’s Army Brought Me To Tears

Melissa Harris-Perry’s Interview with the director of the documentary Gideon’s Army and the Public Defenders that were profiled.

Gideon vs. Wainwright

I watched this documentary last night and it brought me to tears.  That is probably why I decided early on not to practice criminal law.  At one point, I did consider it, but honestly when I did an externship and saw who was constantly coming in to the courtroom I could not deal with defending or prosecuting what is a high percentage of African-American males.  That is just how I felt, because it hurt my heart.   Public Defenders normally do get a bad rap and are accused of representing the bad guy.  But, that is not the case.  This documentary by Dawn Porter shows you the passion these lawyers have for their clients, the battle they have in their own lives in representing these clients and how poorly paid they are.  The scene in the documentary where Brandy is putting three dollars gas in her car to get to work while looking through a pile of student loan bills is so real.  I cried when her client was accused of armed robbery and the shop owner could not recall vital details about the defendant that would prove he was the assailant.

Watch this movie and if your passion lies in being a public defender, don’t let anyone stop you from your calling.

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