Gideon: Memphis Public Defender on Indigent Defense

Benjamin Rush, Jr. is a public defender in Memphis, Tennessee. Lawyers in his Shelby County office have caseloads that are three to four times larger than the national average, and Rush reports that he is often able to spend only minutes with his clients before they enter the courtroom. Not only are public defenders in Shelby County strapped for time and resources, but, according to Rush, "we face problems that regular criminal justice attorneys don’t face – and that’s poverty."

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