• National Association for Public Defense
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    "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." -Thomas Jefferson
    • Read an NAPD interview with member Amy Campanelli, the newly appointed leader of the Cook County Public Defender's Office in Chicago, IL. The interview records Amy's goals, challenges and immediate priorities. This interview supplements an interview done by Geoffrey Burkhart for the ABA, which was published in the July/August issue of the CBA Record.
    • For public defenders, the fight for justice is an unrelenting effort. Next week, before the highest court in the country, a public defender will fight to ensure that his client – convicted 52 years ago – wins the right to have his unconstitutional sentence reviewed. Miller afforded that client this right. A public defender is now working to see that the high court’s ruling becomes the law in Louisiana and those other states that have yet to recognize this important step forward in juvenile justice.
    •  On one occasion, the same judge, not remembering his prior interaction with Carlos, asked him again what he wanted to do. This time, Carlos said, “I’m thinking of being a mechanic.” Months in the juvenile justice system, coupled with life as a Hispanic male in San Jose, had perhaps eroded Carlos’ aspirations. Startled and frustrated at the change in his response, I reminded both Carlos and the judge of his previous ambition of becoming a doctor. Much too soon for such dreams to be forgotten and replaced.
    •   The right to counsel may be an inconvenience to a cop trying to crack a case or a judge trying to get through his calendar. But it is also much more. It is a shield to protect ordinary citizens from intimidation, brutality, and wrongful conviction. It is always worth the fight. Jami Tillotson may have ended up in handcuffs for doing her job, but she walked away with her integrity as a public defender fully intact.

    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.