The Myth of Equal Justice: Fighting to Balance The Scales

“If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” This promise, heard by countless people watching their favorite police procedural on TV and by even more people in real life, holds out a widely assumed premise of American citizenship: Equal justice under the law. The truth: It’s hard to imagine the scales of justice being more unbalanced when it comes to legal representation—public defenders armed with the equivalent of sling shots face off daily against a law enforcement and prosecutorial system with the nuclear capacity to destroy individuals, families, and entire communities. Twyla Carter, the first African American woman and Asian American to lead The Legal Aid Society, joins Beyond The Hype to explain why this reality puts us all at risk, and why it’s up to each and every one of us to do something about it.