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Gideon VS Wainwright
Transcript of Gideon VS Wainwright
Gideon was charged with breaking and entering with intent to commit misdemeanor. Gideon appeared in court without an attorney. he asked the judge to appoint to counsel for him cause he cant afford an attorney. the judge denied his request.
THE COURT SAYS: Mr. Gideon i am sorry but i cannot appoint council to represent you in this case. Under the laws of the state of Florida, the only time i 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.
the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution does not distinguish between capital and non-capital cases, so legal counsel must be provided for an indigent defendant in all cases. Justice Harlan's concurring opinion stated that the mere existence of a serious criminal charge in itself constituted special circumstances requiring the services of counsel at trial.
The Supreme Court remanded the case to the Supreme Court of Florida for "further action not inconsistent with this decision."
Gideon v. Wainwright is a landmark case in supreme court history. Between midnight and 8:00 a.m. on June 3, 1961, a burglary occurred at the Bay Harbor Pool Room in Panama City, Florida. Later that day, a witness reported that he had seen Clarence Earl Gideon in the poolroom at around 5:30 that morning, leaving with a wine bottle and money in his pockets. Based on this accusation alone, the police arrested Gideon and charged him with breaking and entering with intent to commit petty larceny.