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You Have the Right to an Attorney

52 minutes

You have the right to legal representation in a criminal matter but there is no guarantee that representation will have the resources and the access to represent you well. L. Joy brings Scott Hechinger to the front of the class to discuss the role public defenders play in our justice system and you will learn its not all Law & Order promised us.

Scott Hechinger’s #FirstCivicAction happened when he was eight years old. His grandfather ran for office and he went with him canvassing door to door in their district.

Our Guest:
Scott Hechinger is Senior Staff Attorney and Director of Policy at Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS), a public defense firm representing about half of all those arrested in Brooklyn each year, Scott bridges the divide between practice and policy.

As a Senior Staff Attorney, he has represented thousands of low-income individuals accused of crimes ranging from low-level misdemeanors to the most serious felonies, from arraignment to trial, in and outside of court.

As Director of Policy, he's leveraged his experience in court to lead criminal justice reform efforts outside of it on a range of issues, including immigration law and policy, pretrial detention, marijuana legalization, prosecutor accountability, and mandatory minimums.

Scott co-founded the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, wrote the short film "Perpetual Punishment," conceptualized and launched the "Power of Prosecutors" media advocacy project, and most recently, co-directed, produced, and wrote the "We Have Rights" immigrant empowerment campaign. His work and commentary has been widely featured, including in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, The Atlantic, NPR, Village Voice, Huffington Post, VICE, Slate, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and Al Jazeera.

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