Until 1932 in the United States accused criminals had no right to an attorney to defend them. Much like our medical system, if you didn't have enough money to pay for the help that you needed, you went without. In 1932 the Supreme Court decided that in any case which might lead to a death sentence, the accused should have an attorney to defend them, even if the government had to pay for that attorney. In 1962 the Supreme Court widened that ruling to include any indigent accused of a crime that was a felony or worse, but during the time that this television show aired, only indigent murder and death sentence defendants qualified for a public defender.
The show was produced by Hal Roach, and aired on the CBS television network every Thursday evening at 10pm east coast time.