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    "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." -Thomas Jefferson
    • That people of color facing criminal charges overwhelmingly depend on public defenders for their constitutional right to counsel, and that virtually every single public defender office in the country is so severely underfunded that it is in a state of crisis is but another manifestation of the inherent racism of the American justice system.

      Our system of justice is broken. It is racially biased to a degree that it is unworthy of public confidence. This lack of confidence is now being experienced on a grand scale in jurisdictions across the country, creating an urgent need to address the many unfair policies that oppress all people of color and every community of color in this country.

    • And then came the threat. If I wanted to speak to a supervisor, if I wanted to make waves, then something would happen to my relative. Did I know what that meant? Something happen to my middle-aged, white, suburban, somewhat well connected family member because a relative was trying to see him? Ridiculous, right? I persisted, visited my relative, and told him. He told me not to worry. And nothing did happen to him. Perhaps because he was middle-aged, white, suburban and somewhat well connected.
    • You cannot blame police officers for wanting a significant bill of rights. But isn’t it time that citizens in our society were treated the same way? Our clients are taken off the street, or out of their homes in the middle of the night. Due process and fair procedure are important elements of our rights. They should apply to all, police officer and citizen accused.
    • “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson is part memoir, part sociopolitical history of the male African American experience in the United States. Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., and law professor at New York University School of Law, Stevenson blends his own experiences as a young African American civil rights attorney getting his start with the experiences of the condemned men and prisoners he represented in the 1980s.

    Contributing Authors

    mutual aid

    Our community includes brilliant men and women with a diversity of specializations, interests, and experiences. NAPD is a collection of individuals dedicated to public defense and the right to counsel connecting directly to share knowledge, brainstorm challenges, and offer support.

    you're the expert

    No one understands public defense better than the thousands of men and women across the country who engage in the work on a daily basis. Through the unified voice of NAPD, we will at last claim our rightful position as experts regarding the right to counsel and the systems designed to provide that valuable right.

    stronger together

    The men and women who dedicate their professional lives to public defense must serve as the catalysts for change. Through NAPD, we will speak with one voice for our clients and their constitutional right to counsel.