The film Gideon’s Army will be screened at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17 at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. Dawn Porter, an attorney, produced this film to document the work of three public defenders in the South and the state of our criminal justice system as it deals with 12 million annual arrests. Porter will also be the keynote speaker at Asheville’s Martin Luther King Jr. prayer breakfast at the Grove Park Inn.
Travis Williams, one of the public defenders featured in Gideon’s Army, will join Porter at Asheville’s Martin Luther King Jr. prayer breakfast, and in discussing the film after its showing at UNC Asheville. The film follows the personal stories of Williams and two other young public defenders as they struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads, in order to uphold the right to counsel established nearly 50 years ago in the landmark Supreme Court ruling, Gideon v. Wainwright. Released in 2013, Gideon’s Army was named an official selection in the prestigious U.S. Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, and also earned the festival’s editing prize.
This free event is hosted by UNC Asheville in cooperation with the Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County. The 28th Judicial District Bar is a sponsor of this event.