Gideon Day Announcement

Greetings!  I want to share some exciting news. The 19th Judicial Circuit Public Defenders office is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the landmark United States Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright.  This case ruled that the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires States to provide legal representation to criminal defendants who are unable to afford their own.  We are declaring March 13th through the 17th Gideon Week and will be having various festivities during that time.  Each day I will be sending out an email to the heads of each agency, which I hope you will disseminate to your staff. These emails will be brief but will include testimonials, short videos, etc.  The culmination is a bar-b-que on the lawn of the St. Lucie County courthouse.  It will be held on Thursday, March 16th from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Come grab a hot dog or hamburger! Please invite your staff as well. 


Thank you for your partnership throughout these many years.  We are all so lucky to be part of such a great Circuit!



“There are so many stories, but even when we fight without legal success, it’s still a success to the clients when they know that we fought for them, we were their voice and sometimes that is all they have.”  Usha Maharajh, Assistant Public Defender, 19th Judicial Circuit


“If an obscure Florida convict named Clarence Earl Gideon had not sat down in prison with a pencil and paper to write a letter to the Supreme Court, and if the Supreme Court had not taken the trouble to look at the merits in that one crude petition among all the bundles of mail it must receive every day, the vast machinery of American law would have gone on functioning undisturbed.  But Gideon did write that letter, the court did look into his case, he was retried with the help of competent defense counsel, found not guilty and released from prison after two years of punishment for a crime he did not commit.”   Attorney General, Robert Kennedy


Client & Family Member Letter:

We would like to thank you both and the entire team at the Public Defender’s Office for all your assistance and support during the most difficult time of our lives.

We prayed and fully expected God to deliver and vindicate us.  In his wisdom, God selected your team to get the job done.  Nothing we’ve faced before could have prepared us for this harrowing and life altering experience.  You made us feel at home and encouraged when it mattered most.

We will forever be grateful to you and your team for your patience, compassion, skill and for always going the extra mile.  Thank you for helping us regain normalcy in our lives and also our dignity.

May God continue to bless you all and increase your prosperity, influence, and peace.

Pictures from the Celebration