Lynn Pride Richardson
Chief Public Defender
"Injustice anywhere is a
threat to justice everywhere."
~Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
In Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution requires that States provide defense counsel for criminal defendants. The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision written by Justice Hugo Black, ruled that Gideon’s conviction was unconstitutional because he was denied a defense lawyer at trial. The court ruled that the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment gives defendants the right to counsel, even if they cannot afford one themselves.
The Dallas County Public Defender's Office is charged with the responsibility of providing the best legal defense to the indigent citizens of Dallas County. It is our mission to provide indigent defendants with quality legal representation in an effective and efficient manner.