This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Tonight at 9 ET HBO is playing the documentary, Gideon's Army. It's about three public defenders and their work.  Their work, lest we miss it, is no less than embodying the Sixth Amendment right to counsel and the right to free legal representation in criminal cases granted decades ago in Gideon v. Wainwright.

If we're going to have rational policies about crime and justice in the US, this documentary will inform the discussion. It will do that by revealing what goes on in situations non-lawyer (and people not accused of crimes) just don't know about.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Why am I telling Kossacks not to miss this show?

I was a public defender in New York for decades, and this is a topic close to my heart. Most people do not understand what's involved and what it means to fight for the Sixth Amendment. And most people don't understand the toll it takes on the advocates. And that those who fill these jobs are often heroes. Or the obvious difficulties in making the Sixth Amendment real: most governments who pay for the representation don't give a damn about whether it's any good.  Nobody gets up at the local board of supervisors meeting or in the state legislature to say, "We want to make the best possible Public Defense system. The Constitution requires it." And the Courts, in fact, will tell you that all the accused is entitled to is adequate representation. No. If there's good representation, its because of the courage and dedication of the lawyers. They're underpaid. The best ones fight like hell and they give a defense that nobody could afford, even if they were loaded.  

Please watch this show.

Extended (Optional)

Your Email has been sent.