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Gideon v Wainwright

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Laura Smith

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of Gideon v Wainwright

Plaintiff Facts of the Case Components of Gideon v Wainwright Arguments For Defendant Representation Battle Lower Court Verdict Decision without counsel Arguments For Plaintiff Representation Battle Significance of the Case The Results Defendent Gideon v. Wainwright 1963 Bibliography Dissenting Opinion Majority Decision of the Court Gideon’s case was declined by the Florida State Supreme Court but accepted by the U. S. Supreme Court to be retried. Gideon was tried and convicted with only his own counsel to aid him. In 1961, Clarence Earl Gideon was denied the right to counsel in the Florida Circuit Court of Appeals after allegedly breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor. He wrote a petition to the Supreme Court of Florida, which was declined, before writing another to the United States Supreme Court, which accepted his case. The Florida Circuit Court of Appeals found Mr. Gideon guilty of his charges- which was no surprise as he was unrepresented. Gideon argued that the Sixth Amendment granted his right of representation, as his case involved a felony. If Gideon had counsel he would have been successful in his case The Fourteenth Amendment requires a fair trial and a layperson cannot be expected to know what a lawyer would. The last and main argument, in my opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court made was that the line had to be drawn somewhere between felony, misdemeanor, traffic, and civil case for what deserved representation. The Defendant, the U.S. Supreme Court, mentioned that he had not committed a capital offense as one of their arguments. Another argument for the defense was that there was a witness claiming to have seen Gideon carrying a pint of wine when he left the establishment. There was no dissent, the Court voted unanimously in Gideon’s favor. August 5th, 1963 was when Gideon was retried, represented and acquitted. All nine members of the Supreme Court voted in Gideon’s favor. This case has remained relevant and helpful since its time. Supreme Court Verdict Any Objections?
Beaney, William M. The Right to Counsel in American Courts. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1955.
Carter, Dan T. Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1969.
Lewis, Anthony. Gideon's Trumpet. New York: Random House, 1964.

"Clarence Earl GIDEON, Petitioner, v. Louie L. WAINWRIGHT, Director, Division of Corrections." LII. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.

"GIDEON v. WAINWRIGHT." Gideon v. Wainwright. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2013. Controversial Cases Leading to Gideon V Wainwright 1963, August 5- Gideon was represented, retried, and acquitted 1932- Powell v Alabama Dictum that the provision of Counsel is a fundamental right implicit in the fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause. 1937-Palko v Connecticut Similar ruling to Powell v Alabama 1942-Betts v Brady – Dictum that a defendant should only be provided with counsel in such cases as when the lack of counsel would result in a denial of fundamental fairness. 1963- Gideon v Wainwright – 1961- Gideon was taken to be tried at a lower court 1962, June 4- Court granted Gideon’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis and petition for a writ of certiorari 1963, March 18- Betts v Brady ruling was reversed In any criminal case, a defendant must be appointed counsel if requested, as a fair trial is required. The Gideon v Wainwright ruling confirmed that the trial is unfair without counsel if the accused asks for one.
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