Case Brief Of Gideon V. Wainwright

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Gideon v. Wainwright( 1963, 9-0 Vote Decision)
Facts of the Case/Question

Clarence Earl Gideon was charged in Florida state court with a felony because he broke into and entered a poolroom with the intent to commit a misdemeanor offense. When he appeared in court, Gideon requested that the court appoint a lawyer for him because he did not have one. However, according to Florida state law, an attorney may only be appointed to a needy defendant in capital cases, so the court did not appoint one. Gideon represented himself at the trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. Gideon filed a habeas corpus petition in the Florida Supreme Court and argued that the trial’s decision to not allow him a lawyer violated his constitutional …show more content…

Reasons for Dissenting Opinion
- None ,because the Vote decision was unanimous

Significance of Case:
The old "unfair trial" rule, when the government had a fair amount of leeway in criminal proceedings as long as there were no "shocking departures from fair procedure" was discarded, replaced by a firm set of "procedural guarantees" based on constitutional amendments. The number of public defenders were increased in many states.

Furman v. Georgia(1972, 5-4 Vote Decision)

Facts of the Case/Question
William Henry Furman was burglarizing a private home when a family member found him. He tried to flee, and while doing so tripped and fell. The gun that he carried went off and killed a resident of the home. He was eventually convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The question in this case is, “Is the imposition and carrying out of the death penalty in this case cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments?”
Reasons for Majority …show more content…

This would mean that the death penalty is not unusual
- Violates life’s experience and goes against any appreciation of life.

Significance of Case

The court's decision made states and national legislature rethink their beliefs about capital offenses to assure that the death penalty would not be administered in a unpredictable or discriminatory manner. However, the death penalty is still very controversial and debated, even today.
Gregg v. Georgia(1976, 2-7 Vote Decision)
Facts of the Case/Question: A jury found Gregg guilty of armed robbery and murder, then sentenced him to death. During appeal, the Georgia Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence, except it could not be used because of the robbery. Gregg challenged his death sentence for murder by claiming that his capital sentence was a "cruel and unusual" punishment that violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. This case also settled several other cases.
Reasons for Majority Opinion
- The death penalty is an acceptable penalty for the most severe of crimes. This holds true if the trial is carefully conducted. This implies that the death penalty is not a form of punishment that may never be

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