Mary Sue Lang


The American concept of democracy embraces the principle that the basic interests of society are endangered when the rights of an individual are diminished. The indigent's dissatisfaction with his assigned counsel is relevant only because Americans presuppose that a criminal prosecution unaccompanied by the panoply of the adversary process is a deprivation of the fundamental rights of the accused. This concept of justice obligates a government which institutes criminal prosecutions to provide representation for those unable to afford their own counsel. It further imposes a duty to assure effective counsel in order to preserve the element of challenge which is the very nucleus of the adversary system.