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  • One of the opposing sides in an adversarial justice system. A defendant is brought up on charges by the prosecution. Typically, a defense attorney represents the defendant in court and defends the accused against the charges. The counsel's role is to ensure that the defendant's due process rights are upheld and that he or she receives a fair trial. The Sixth Amendment states that those accused by the government have a right to counsel. In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that one's right to an attorney has no value unless the state provides defense attorneys to those unable to afford one themselves.

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