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Gideon vs. Wainwright

Our Supreme Court Case 8th Grade PACE U.S. History By: Sarah Koo, Zoe Murray, and Alexis Dao

Zoe Murray

on 2 November 2012

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Transcript of Gideon vs. Wainwright

While in prison, Gideon read many books on American law and found that other states appointed attorneys to the poor, just not Florida, which was a violation of the 6th and 14th amendments. Plus, his conviction was unjust without an attorney. Then he filed a habeas corpus petition (or petition for release from unjust imprisonment) to the Florida Supreme Court 8th Grade PACE U.S. History
By: Sara Koo, Alexi Da, and Zoe Muay Gideon vs. Wainwright Clarence Earl Gideon Louie L.Wainwright Introduction: The following will be presented:
-A COMPLETE AND THOROUGH description of the events leading up to the Supreme Court hearing this case
-THOROUGH discussion of the constitutional issues,amendments,and principles involved in this case
-A DETAILED description of both parties
-The Supreme Court's Decision including the vote count,which justices voted in the majority and minority,a summary of the majority an dissenting opinions,past cases used as precedents and our analysis of the Court's Decision
-An examination of the impact and significance the case has on american society and/or government policy
-a conclusion that summarizes the main issues and points made during the presentation Events Leading Up to This Case Constitutional Issues, Amendments, and Principles Involved Conclusion Respondent Petitioner Clarence Earl Gideon's handwritten petition for a writ of certiorari filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961.
U.S. SUPREME COURT Clarence Earl Gideon was accused of breaking and entering the poolroom of the Bay Harbor, taking a few bottles of wine and beer, and stealing some money from the cigarette and jukebox machines. He claimed to be an employee there and had a key, so it was technically not breaking in. Gideon was too poor to hire an attorney, so he was forced to defend himself. However, Gideon believed that he had the constitutional right to an attorney, so he asked the judge for one. Judge Robert McCray denied Gideon an attorney, stating“Mr. Gideon, I am sorry, but I cannot appoint Counsel to represent you in this case. Under the laws of the State of Florida, the only time the Court can appoint Counsel to represent a Defendant is when that person is charged with a capital offense. I am sorry, but I will have to deny your request to appoint Counsel to defend you in this case.” Gideon, not having any court experience, was consequently found guilty and given a 5-year sentence This case included the sixth amendment and the fourteenth amendment. the Court told Gideon that he was not allowed to have a counsel to represent him in the case, but the sixth amendment gave him the right to have one. The sixth amendment states that," In all criminal prosecutions, the accuses should enjoy the right.... to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense." The fourteenth amendment required the sixth amendment to be interpreted to include indigent defendants in state criminal trials.

This case itself was a constitutional issue for the Supreme Court, because the issue considered by the Court in Gideon v. Wainwright was whether States are required, under the federal Constitution, to provide a person charged with a non-capital felony with the assistance of counsel if that person cannot afford to hire an attorney. The Florida Supreme Court denied his claim, so Gideon appealed to the US Supreme Court a poor drifter accused in a Florida state court of felony theft. Secretary of the Florida Division of Corrections from 1962 to 1987 Served as President of the Florida Peace Officer's Association from 1965–1966 He once was the Superintendent of Avon Park Correctional Institution. His post, Secretary of the Florida Division of Corrections, replaced the post of Director of the Division of Corrections. The Supreme Court's Decision His mother was Virginia Gregory Gideon. Gideon quit school after eighth grade and ran away from home, living as a homeless drifter. By the time he was sixteen, Gideon had begun compiling a petty crime profile.
Gideon spent a year in a reformatory for burglary before finding work at a shoe factory. At age 18, he was arrested in Missouri and charged with robbery, burglary, and larceny. Gideon was sentenced to 10 years but released after three, in 1932, just as the Great Depression was beginning.
Gideon spent most of the next three decades in poverty. 9 Votes for Gideon, 0 Against
(unanimous, so all in the majority)

Earl Warren (voted with the majority)

Hugo L. Black (wrote the majority opinion)

William O. Douglas (wrote a regular concurrence)

Tom C. Clark (wrote a special concurrence)

John M. Harlan (wrote a special concurrence)

William J. Brennan, Jr.(voted with the majority)

Potter Stewart (voted with the majority)

Byron R. White (voted with the majority

Arthur J. Goldberg (voted with the majority Thanks for Watching! Overall this case shows a realistic example of how some people (which in this case was the poor and homeless) were not given what they were obligated to have (which in this case was the right to counsel in criminal proceedings to the states).
Gideon ,however, learned what he was SUPPOSED to have in this case. He then toke action to bring up to the attention of others that his claims were not rightfully given ,but in the end those claims were, denied. That was when it was appealed to the Supreme Court.
Today we look at it as one of the ,probably, many examples of what used to happen in the past ,full of unfair and unjust treatment. Hopefully nothing like this will happen in the future ,nor in the present. Majority Opinion The judges realized that without an attorney or lawyer, the trial was not guaranteed to be fair. Also, it was an 'obvious truth' (Hugo Black). Past Cases Used As Precedents Betts v. Brady 1942
(The Court decided that the right to counsel provided by the 14th amendment does not compel states to provide counsel to any defendant

Powell v. Alabama 1932
(the Court interpreted the 14th amendment as requiring the state to provide defense attorneys in capital trials) Analysis The court came upon the realization that lawyers were really necessities, not luxuries. Whether someone is poor or rich, all criminal cases should have lawyers and attorneys to be just trials. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Gideon+vs.+Wainwright This significant case was a huge step closer to establishing the right of many poor defendants to have a court appointed attorney. Many poor defendants in the past have been lost at trial because they didn't have the help of an attorney. This case was the establishment of public defender's offices across the country. This case mainly impacted the sixth amendment. The reason behind this is because years after this case, the Supreme Court has decided to expand this right farther and farther. The impact has caused many accused lives of the poor to live. Affect on American Society And/Or Govt. Policy http://lpdb.la.gov/Serving%20The%20Public/Court%20Decisions/Gideon%20v.%20Wainwright%20(1963).php http://www.andypotanin.com/gideon-vs-wainwright/ http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1941/1941_837 http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1962/1962_155 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_v._Wainwright http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_gideon.html Works Cited
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