Georgetown Law Library Equal Justice Film Festival: Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright and the 125th anniversary of the Georgetown Law Library, a series of films and discussions on the ideals of equal justice under law.

NEW: Bibliography for the Equal Justice Film Festival

To supplement the successful film series and encourage further research and exploration, the Georgetown Law Library has compiled a brief bibliography of resources, including books, scholarly articles, and other films on related topics.


Gideon's Trumpet Poster

Gideon’s Trumpet

Henry Fonda portrays Clarence Earl Gideon, an indigent Florida convict whose demand for just legal representation gave rise to a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, in this critically acclaimed 1980 film.

Stay for a discussion of the film and the ideas it presents, led by:

  • Malia Brink - Director, Institutional Development and Policy Counsel, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Adjunct Professor of Law
  • John Copacino - Director, Criminal Justice Clinic; Co-Director, E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program; Professor of Law
  • Abbe Smith - Director, Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic; Co-Director, E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program; Professor of Law

Screening co-sponsored by The Friends of the Georgetown Law Library, National Equal Justice Library, Georgetown Law Innocence Project, Georgetown Criminal Law Association, and the National Lawyers' Guild.


The Loving Story Poster

The Loving Story

  • Tuesday, March 26 - Refreshments & Seating: 6:00 p.m.; Showtime: 6:30 p.m.
  • Georgetown University Law Center - McDonough Hall, Hart Auditorium

This 2011 documentary explores the Civil Rights Era story of an interracial couple whose challenge to state anti-miscegenation laws criminalizing their marriage led to the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967).

After the screening, stay for a discussion led by panelists with valuable insights on the history and context of the film:

  • Philip Hirschkop - Attorney who litigated on behalf of the Lovings throughout their legal battle
  • Patricia King - Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Medicine, Ethics, and Public Policy at Georgetown Law
  • Elisabeth Haviland James - Producer and editor of The Loving Story and founder of Thornapple Films

Screening co-sponsored by The Friends of the Georgetown Law Library, National Equal Justice Library, The Innocence Project, Georgetown Criminal Law Association, the Georgetown chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild, Outlaw, and Law Docs.


The Loving Story Poster

The Central Park Five

  • Monday, April 1 - Refreshments & Seating: 6:00 p.m.; Showtime: 6:30 p.m.
  • Georgetown University Law Center - McDonough Hall, Hart Auditorium

Heralded as one of 2012's most powerful documentaries, The Central Park Five is the story of five black and Latino youths who were convicted and served sentences for the 1989 rape of a white woman, only to be exonerated when the true offender confessed the crime 13 years later.

After the screening, stay for a discussion with the film's creators and one of the five accused men:

  • Sarah Burns - Director, writer, and producer, The Central Park Five
  • David McMahon - Director, writer, and producer, The Central Park Five
  • Yusef Salaam - Central Park Five defendant

Sarah Burns will also sign copies of her book, which was the basis for the movie.

Screening co-sponsored by The Friends of the Georgetown Law Library, National Equal Justice Library, The Innocence Project, Georgetown Criminal Law Association, the Georgetown chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild, Outlaw, WETA, and Law Docs.


Bully Poster

Bully

Filmmaker Lee Hirsch gives a window into the lives of five school-age children in communities across America, all of whom face regular abuse, ridicule, and intimidation from their peers in this headline-grabbing 2011 documentary. The movie is the centerpiece of The Bully Project, an advocacy movement that spreads awareness of and solidarity against childhood bullying in all forms.

After the screening, stay for a discussion of the film and the ideas it presents, led by:

  • Kisha Webster - Associate Director of Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign
  • Joseph Wardenski - Attorney at U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
  • Jane Aiken - Director, Community Justice Project at Georgetown Law; Professor of Law

Screening co-sponsored by The Friends of the Georgetown Law Library, National Equal Justice Library, Outlaw, and Law Docs.


Gideon's Army Poster

Gideon’s Army

  • Friday, April 19 - Refreshments & Seating: 6:00 p.m.; Showtime: 6:30 p.m.
  • Georgetown University Law Center - McDonough Hall, Hart Auditorium

A 2013 Sundance award winning documentary by Georgetown Law alumna Dawn Porter, Gideon's Army follows the personal stories of three young public defenders in the Deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling Gideon v. Wainwright that established the right to counsel, can these courageous lawyers and their colleagues revolutionize the way America thinks about indigent defense and make “justice for all” a reality?

After the screening, stay for a discussion of the film and its context, led by:

  • Jo-Ann Wallace, President and CEO, National Legal Aid & Defender Association
  • Abbe Smith, Director, Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic; Co-Director, E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program; Professor of Law
  • Alec Karakatsanis, Attorney, Special Litigation Division, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia

Screening co-sponsored by The Friends of the Georgetown Law Library, National Equal Justice Library, The Innocence Project, Georgetown Criminal Law Association, the Georgetown chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild, and Law Docs.


West of Memphis poster

West of Memphis

  • Tuesday, April 23 - Refreshments & Seating: 6:00 p.m.; Showtime: 6:30 p.m.
  • Georgetown University Law Center - McDonough Hall, Hart Auditorium

A 2012 Sundance selection, West of Memphis tells the infuriating, inspiring story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to stop the State of Arkansas from killing an innocent man. The film lays bare the flawed police examination into the 1993 murders of three 8-year-old boys, and goes on to uncover new evidence surrounding the arrest and conviction of the three teenagers who spent 18 years in prison for the crimes, one facing execution and two life-imprisonment, until released in 2011.

After the screening, stay for a discussion of the film and the real cases it portrays with Stephen Braga, Georgetown Law alumnus, adjunct professor, and lead attorney in representing the "West Memphis Three."

Screening co-sponsored by The Friends of the Georgetown Law Library, National Equal Justice Library, The Innocence Project, Georgetown Criminal Law Association, the Georgetown chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild, Outlaw, and Law Docs.