Movie Review – Gideon’s Army – Criminal Defense System Documentay

In a ground-breaking documentary, HBO Films presented the film “Gideon’s Army”.  The movie follows three public defenders in Georgia and Florida and provides an inside look into the criminal defense system and those that represent indigent defendants.

One of the public defenders is a dedicated young man and dynamo in the courtroom.  He posts his acquittals prominently in the office and tattoos the names of the defendants that he represented that were convicted after trial.  The other is a young woman feeling the pressure of a never-ending stream of cases and lives in chaos.  These people, like all public defenders, work exceedingly hard on behalf of their clients for very little pay, gratitude or acknowledgment.

The documentary film is centered around two cases, from beginning to end, against a backdrop of public defenders that are trying to manage huge caseloads, survive on minimal salaries and devote their limited time to their loved ones.  If you have ever been curious how the real criminal justice system works — outside of episodes of Law & Order — Gideon’s Army is a great choice.