Charis Books and More Logo

Gideon's Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice--A Conversation with Jonathan Rapping and Gilbert King

Event date: 
Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Charis welcomes author and activist Jonathan Rapping, for a conversation with author Gilbert King in celebration of his new book, Gideon's Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice.

Combining wisdom drawn from over a dozen years as a public defender and cutting-edge research in the fields of organizational and cultural psychology, Jonathan Rapping reveals the pervasive issues inherent in our current system of public defense, and lays the foundation for how model public defense programs should work to end mass incarceration. 

Public defenders represent over eighty percent of those who interact with the court system, a disproportionate number of whom are poor, non-white citizens who rely on them to navigate the law on their behalf. More often than not, even the most well-meaning of those defenders are over-worked, under-funded, and incentivized to put the interests of judges and politicians above those of their clients in a culture that beats the passion out of talented, driven advocates, and has led to an embarrassingly low standard of justice for those who depend on the promises of Gideon v. Wainwright.

However, rather than arguing for a change in rules that govern the actions of lawyers, judges, and other advocates, Rapping proposes a radical cultural shift to a "fiercely client-based ethos" driven by values-based recruitment and training, awakening defenders to their role in upholding an unjust status quo, and a renewed pride in the essential role of moral lawyering in a democratic society.

Through the story of founding Gideon's Promise and anecdotes of his time as a defender and teacher, Rapping reanimates the possibility of public defenders serving as a radical bulwark against government oppression and a megaphone to amplify the voices of those they serve.

Order your signed copies of Gideon's Promise via the link below.

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Bio: Jonathan Rapping is the Founder and President of Gideon's Promise, an organization dedicated to changing the culture and practice of public defense in America. He was awarded a 2014 MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellowship for his work as a criminal justice innovator. Rapping is a Professor at Atlanta's John Marshall Law School and Harvard Law School. He lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife and their two children. Gideon's Promise is his first book.

Bio:  Gilbert King is the author of three books, most recently, Beneath a Ruthless Sun. His previous book, Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2013. King’s earlier book, The Execution of Willie Francis, was published in 2008. He is currently a fellow at The New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and he lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Event address: 
Online
Gideon's Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice Cover Image
$24.26
ISBN: 9780807064627
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beacon Press - August 18th, 2020

A blueprint for criminal justice reform that lays the foundation for how model public defense programs should work to end mass incarceration.


Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9780399183423
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - April 23rd, 2019

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR and THE WASHINGTON POST


The Execution of Willie Francis: Race, Murder, and the Search for Justice in the American South Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780465013784
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Basic Civitas Books - March 1st, 2009

On May 3, 1946, in St. Martinsville, Louisiana, a seventeen-year-old black boy was scheduled for execution by electric chair. Willie Francis had been charged with murder; his trial had been brief; his death sentence never in doubt. When the executioners flipped the switch, Willie screamed and writhed as electricity coursed through his body.


Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America Cover Image
$15.29
ISBN: 9780061792267
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - February 19th, 2013

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“A must-read, cannot-put-down history.” — Thomas Friedman, New York Times


Event Summary: 
Charis welcomes author and activist Jonathan Rapping, for a conversation with author Gilbert King in celebration of his new book, Gideon's Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice.