MSUM hosts Constitution Day Tuesday, Sept. 14 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Comstock Memorial Union room 101.

Criminal defendants often come to trial with such bad reputations that citizens question why they have the option of defending themselves at government expense. The answer, of course, lies in the Constitution.

Richard Henderson is a federal public defender. For the 2010 observance of Constitution Day at MSU Moorhead, he will speak about the rights of defendants as outlined in the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments. His primary focus will be on the importance of exercising one’s privilege against self-incrimination.

Henderson graduated from MSU Moorhead with a baccalaureate degree in 1975. After a few years in the family construction business, he went to law school and became an attorney in private practice. In 2005 the federal courts in North Dakota established a full-time office for the federal public defender and Henderson began his service as an assistant federal defender.

His practice focuses solely on representing indigent persons who have been accused of crimes in federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. His caseload includes everything from violent crimes to drug offenses, gun violations, mail fraud, child pornography and immigration.

“I love my work as a public defender and I’m always proud to tell people what I do for a living.”