Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People's Justice and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $26.95
  • Save: $6.30 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 17 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous ownerâ€TMs name, some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People's Justice Hardcover – March 19, 2013


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$20.65
$5.20 $4.84
Year-End%20Deals%20in%20Books


Frequently Bought Together

Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People's Justice + Gideon's Trumpet
Price for both: $34.27

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The; First Printing edition (March 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595588698
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595588692
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Chasing Gideon is a wonderful book, its human stories gripping, its insight into how our law is made profound. Fifty years after the Gideon case was decided by the Supreme Court, the struggle to give poor criminal defendants a fair chance in court is still being fought—by lawyers, judges, and an inspired writer, Karen Houppert."
—Anthony Lewis, author of Gideon’s Trumpet

"Our country’s indigent defense crisis profoundly undermines the accuracy and fairness of our criminal justice system for defendants, victims, and the public alike. With clarity and power, Chasing Gideon demonstrates this crisis, the reasons behind it, and the ways to fix it. It is a must–read for anyone who cares about justice."
—Virginia Sloan, executive director, The Constitution Project

"The Gideon decision provides an essential mechanism for making the ideal of justice a reality, even for America’s most marginalized people. Author Karen Houppert compellingly examines the multitude of ways in which that mechanism remains under attack fifty years after it was established. Realizing the promise of Gideon often requires overcoming parsimony, political pressure, and the malignant indifference of government bodies and the public at large. Chasing Gideon illustrates the scope and seriousness of the indigent defense crisis nationally and makes the case that defending Gideon is essential and a true test of our nation’s commitment to liberty and justice for all."
—Anthony D. Romero, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union

"Having spent much of my career building a movement of public defenders across the South working to make Gideon’s promise a reality, I am grateful to Karen Houppert for helping readers understand just how far we are from realizing the right to adequate counsel for all. Chasing Gideon shines a bright light on the crisis of indigent defense and challenges us to finally live up to our most cherished democratic principles."
—Jonathan Rapping, associate professor, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, and president and founder of Gideon’s Promise

"Houppert demonstrates that most public defenders are dedicated lawyers but face severe disadvantages due to overwhelming case loads, inadequate budgets for expert witnesses and the like, as well as the nature of the criminal justice system, which often emphasizes the desirability of a plea bargain instead of taking a case to a full trial by judge or jury…a well–researched and [well]–written investigation that shows the inadequacies in stark human terms rather than as an abstraction."
Kirkus Reviews

"Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court guaranteed in Gideon v. Wainwright the right to free counsel to all defendants facing the possibility of imprisonment if they were unable to procure it themselves. Today, more than 80 percent of defendants are represented by public defenders. Here, Houppert (contributing writer, Washington Post Magazine; Home Fires Burning: Married to the Military—for Better or Worse) takes up the call of Anthony Lewis’s classic Gideon’s Trumpet and examines what has changed—and what has not—in the past five decades. What results is a stinging indictment of a system of indigent defense, a widespread failure that, the author claims, dooms the nation’s poor to being represented by insufficient counsel, unwise plea bargains, and wrongful convictions. Houppert examines public defense systems in Washington, Louisiana, and Georgia and follows illustrative cases: a teenager facing vehicular manslaughter charges, a prisoner who has served nearly 30 years for a crime he did not commit, and a defendant facing the death penalty.
VERDICT Fluent and fluid, Houppert’s book has all the urgency this subject demands and is a page-turner. Alternately thrilling and gut-riling, this book will grab and hold lovers of great nonfiction. Highly recommended."
Library Journal

About the Author

Karen Houppert was a contributing writer at the Washington Post Magazine for many years. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Newsday, the New York Times, Mother Jones, the Village Voice, Salon, and many other publications. She is the author of two other books: Home Fires Burning: Married to the Military—for Better or Worse and The Curse: Confronting the Last Taboo, Menstruation. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where she teaches in the MA in Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University and is on the journalism faculty of Morgan State University.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

The law was accurate and is a must read for anyone in the criminal justice field.
T. Williams
Almost every day in state legislatures around the country, the legislators say our (the U.S.) pledge of allegiance that ends, "... with liberty and justice for ALL".
Jesse Holder
Houppert has written a well researched book on a most disheartening situation for indigent defendants.
Francesca D. Bowman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on June 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We are persistently being lectured by law-and-order types that the odds are stacked in favor of criminal defendants, but Ms. Houppert's research into the courts of Louisiana, Georgia and Washington state debunks this prejudice rather thoroughly. She shows a system of public defenders that are grossly under-funded and under-staffed, and details the lump-sum contract systems in many counties that actually give private attorneys financial incentives to give each client a lazy and threadbare defense. The results are predictable; defendants are wrongfully convicted and excessively punished with great regularity, not once in a blue moon as some would have us think.

Anyone interested in criminal law, from either side of the adversarial system, needs to read this book. Hopefully it will motivate a few people of influence to help give the accused in court a slightly better shot at justice than they can expect now.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JYK on April 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
We'd like to believe that justice is blind, but unfortunately that isn't quite the case for those too poor to afford good defense attorneys. Ms. Houppert does a great job outlining the perfect storm created by budget cuts, indifferent public, and overworked public defenders and how it disproportionately affects the poor. Seamlessly weaving historical facts - tracing all the way back to Clarence Earl Gideon, whose case started the public defender system - with individual cases, she makes a good case for the need to reform the public defense system as it stands today.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
2013 is the 50th Anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Gideon which, along with its progeny, requires that every criminal defendant who faces the possibility of jail must be given an effective lawyer at EVERY step of the process, from bail, through the first appeal. However, in most states today, that Supreme Court order is honored mostly in the breach. Public defenders are vastly over worked, under compensated, and given almost no support.

Houppert sets out to examine the current state of criminal defense first be revisiting Gideon itself, and the back story behind the case (it turns out Gideon probably had the help of a lawyer when filing his handwritten pro se petition to the Supreme Court). She then goes on to examine individual cases in Washington State, Louisiana, and Georgia, to see how the right to counsel plays out in the trial courts of each state. She demonstrates both how important a lawyer is and how overburdened those lawyers are.

The cases represent a good cross section: a vehicular manslaughter, a trespassing/burglary case, and two murders--one a wrongful conviction, the other a mentally retarded man facing the death penalty.

Superb storytelling--masterfully interweaving facts and figures into these case studies to present a damning picture of criminal defense today.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Holder on May 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book. Extremely informative and enlightening. I just hope, for the sake of justice, that the people who really need to read it, read it. Almost every day in state legislatures around the country, the legislators say our (the U.S.) pledge of allegiance that ends, "... with liberty and justice for ALL". I'm absolutely certain the great framers of our constitution and founding fathers of our great nation, specifically, did not decide to end the pledge, "... with liberty and justice for those who have money".
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Francesca D. Bowman on May 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Houppert has written a well researched book on a most disheartening situation for indigent defendants. This book should be must read for legislators who are responsible for ensuring that everyone charged with a crime has adequate representation. Unfortunately, legislators never want to visit prisons or look reality in the eye.
Most heartening, Houppert describes some very dedicated lawyers, willing to earn less than they could in order to pursue a defense in face of the death penalty.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Karen Houppert did a great job of researching this book and showing problems in different jurisdictions in the U.S. The book is shocking and scary, and taking the time to read it would be a good investment for anybody who cares about civil Rights, Human Rights, and our justice system.

A must read for law students & legal professionals.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terry Peak on June 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So depressing! but good. It's a great book but terrifying in its own way because unless one has actual experience with the judicial system, one blithely assumes it works to protect the presumed-innocent. If you are poor + lack an education or are a member of a minority group, might as well give right up.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?