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The topics the Mercer Law Review Symposium addresses-race, history, criminal law, and the South-have a long reach across time, place, and the spectrum of justice. It is both temptingly easy and distressfully complicated to disentangle the strands of the Southern tapestry, woven from past to present. The theory of this Essay is the easy part. Evaluating the correctness of the theory is more complicated. I am indebted to Mercer Law Review for inviting the effort.

When the United States Supreme Court decided Gideon v. Wainright' and told the states that they were required to provide lawyers to poor defendants accused of violating the state's criminal laws,2 it must have sounded familiar to the Southern ear. In the march of Brown v. Board of Education' and subsequent events, the federal courts became the familiar trumpet of the unwanted Northern and national government. In that light, it should not be surprising that the imposition of a national standard of criminal defense representation has difficultly making headway in the South. The criminal justice system, a quintessentially local enterprise, is highly resistant to outside meddling. And the Southern criminal justice system, historically a cornerstone and a brutal overseer of the status quo,' had little cultural, political, or legal incentive to concede power to the federal courts or even the centralized state governments. To some extent, that fealty to local control continues to retard progress in developing robust systems of indigent defense representation in the South. My goal here is to illustrate that point, particularly with reference to Georgia.