IPF Honored with the Gideon Award

The Innocence Project of Florida recently was honored by Florida’s 15th Judicial Circuit Office of the Public Defender (PD) with the 2013 Gideon Award.

Each year the Palm Beach County Office of the PD presents the Gideon Award to an individual or individuals who have manifested an honorable, consistent and recognizable effort to ensure equal justice for the indigent in our community.

The award is named in honor of Clarence Earl Gideon, an indigent defendant who filed a hand-written motion for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking the right to appointed counsel. 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright which established that everyone is entitled to effective assistance of counsel. This ruling led to the formation of the statewide public defender system in Florida.

The Gideon Award was first presented in 2003; past recipients have included Talbot “Sandy” D’ Alemberte, IPF’s founding board chair and past president of the American Bar Association; Florida Supreme Court Justice Harry Lee Anstead (retired); Barry Scheck, Co-Founder of the Innocence Project; and Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. We are honored and humbled to be among the list of Gideon Award recipients.

IPF staff attorney Melissa Montle proudly accepted the Gideon Award on IPF’s behalf.

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