Robert F. Kennedy Award

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The Robert F. Kennedy award, sponsored by the American Council of Chief Defenders and first awarded in 2000, recognizes a criminal justice system leader other than a defender, whose work acknowledges the critical role the public defense function plays in ensuring fair justice systems. The award is named for former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in honor of his support for quality public defense systems, including shepherding through to passage the nation's first indigent defense statute, the federal Criminal Justice Act, in 1963, the year that Gideon v. Wainwright was handed down.