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New Documentary Examines Public Defender System In Indiana
Updated August 16, 2017 8:46 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The Sixth Amendment guarantees citizens the right to representation if accused of a crime. But some legal experts say the idea of justice for all might be more accurately described as justice for few.

A new documentary produced by WFIU Public Radio and WTIU Public Television investigates how the public defender system is working in Indiana.

Justice For All? premieres on WFIU Thursday, August 24, at 6:30 p.m. and later that evening on WTIU at 8 p.m.

The documentary examines class action lawsuits in Johnson and Allen counties that claim inadequate representation, caseloads that exceed state standards, under-funding, and violations of their plaintiffs' constitutional rights, among other assertions.

The documentary also takes an in-depth look at what statewide standards exist for public defense in Indiana and how they are applied across each county. Some argue that there is a lack of consistency across the state, especially when it comes to determining who qualifies for a public defender, which currently has no statewide standard.

In addition to including the points of view of legal experts, Justice For All? also tells the personal stories of those who faced misdemeanor charges, but could not afford to hire an attorney. William Carey spoke with the WFIU-WTIU news team about being denied legal representation in Johnson County, and Asia Marshall, shares how the course of her life changed when she ran out of money for a private attorney and had to turn to the public defense system in Allen County.

Justice For All? is made possible by the Radio and TV News Endowment, a fund established by WFIU listeners and WTIU viewers to sustain reporting of Indiana news. Learn more about the documentary at

About WFIU-WTIU News

WFIU Public Radio and WTIU Public Television have combined their expertise and resources to create the largest public media news bureau in Indiana. WFIU-WTIU News' integrated approach brings in-depth stories from across the state, and is consistently recognized as one of the best public news sources in Indiana. The news team won 51 awards for their reporting in 2016, including a National Edward R. Murrow Award.

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