In 1963, the case of Gideon V. Wainwright was presented to the Supreme Court. The case focused on Clarence Gideon, a drifter who was accused of robbing and vandalizing a pool hall in Florida. No witnesses could definitively confirm that Gideon committed the crime but, they could place him in that area near the time of that the robbery occurred. After Gideon was arrested and put on trial, he asked for an attorney because he could not afford one. The judge denied his request because Florida, at the time, did not provide attorneys for those who could not afford it unless, it was a capital crime. After hearing this, Gideon proceeded to represent himself in court, he lost his case and was found guilty. When he was sentenced, Gideon claimed that …show more content…
Before his trial Clarence Gideon requested an attorney to represent him in court because he was aware of his sixth amendment rights but, he was denied the possibility of being properly represented in court due to the fact that he was not facing charges that would warrant the death penalty (Oyez). This practice is recognized as unjust and unconstitutional but was once seen as normal in Floridian court systems. It would be virtually impossible to represent oneself in court because it is almost impossible to know every law and therefore substantially harder to not self-incriminate. The judicial system is built on the principles of justice and fairness. One can easily see how the odds were stacked against Gideon and thus proving how it was unjust for him to go into a trial so grossly unprepared on how to defend himself. Without the right to an attorney, the judicial system in America would be radically different. For instance, juries may be heavily influenced to side with large companies or corporations that can afford representation rather than an average citizen that cannot afford a lawyer. This would lead to an unfair advantage in American courts and create a breeding ground for corruption. This case eliminated this possibility, and changed the future of court cases in America …show more content…
This petition was denied but, this did not stop Gideon from seeking justice. He then filed for a writ of Habeas Corpus and sent it to the United States Supreme Court. This petition stated that because he was not provided an attorney, it violated his rights as an American citizen because of this, he determined that he was wrongly imprisoned and should be set free. After consideration, the Supreme Court decided to hold a hearing and determine whether or not Gideons claims held any substance and if his rights were encroached upon. During this trial, Clarence Gideon was represented by Abraham Fortas. This attorney would later go on to be appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to be a Supreme Court Justice. Fortas explained to the court that an overwhelming amount of people would not be able to represent themselves in a court of law. Let alone Gideon who only had a middle school level education. Furthermore, Fortas led on that there was no witness who saw Gideon commit the crime in the first place, it was simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time (Ashenmiller). This compelled the judges to vote unanimously in favor of Gideon and thus reinforcing the fact that one should never be denied the right to an attorney. The reason for this ruling was simple, it
Politically, this court case made it easier for similar incidents to be ruled fairly. Congress was able to make this ruling under the necessary and proper clause which allowed it “to carry out lex Moore 10/12/14 Bill of Rights Essay its enumerated power to ‘regulate commerce…among the several states’” (Landmark Supreme Court Cases – Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)). Culturally, the decision helped steamboat operators be able to understand what they were allowed to do and who would be in charge for any punishment should that ever be needed.
Clarence Earl Gideon was an indigent living in Florida who was accused of breaking into the Bay Harbor Poolroom in Panama City, Florida with the intention to commit petty larceny. He had to represent himself at trial since he was poor and Florida did not provide state-funded attorneys for indigents. Once the case was taken up by the Supreme Court, it was affirmed by unanimous decision that anyone had a right to counsel. In Betts v. Brady which Gideon’s case overturned, Betts was an indigent accused of robbery who, when he asked for counsel at his trial, was denied. He later appealed his case up the court system and eventually to the Supreme Court on the grounds that, due to such actions, he had been held illegally.
Gideon v. Wainwright was a Supreme Court case that approached criminal justice around the mid 1950s and 1960s. In certain states criminals were not receiving fair representation in courts, which violated the Sixth Amendment. It wasn’t until the Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright of 1963 that this issue changed. Gideon v. Wainwright was the most controversial and influential the Supreme Court ever took on, due to the fact that it challenged the very way criminals are incarcerated by the court themselves. Earl Gideon was a man with an eighth-grade education, he ran away from home when he was in middle school.
On that same day, the jury of the Trial Court in Florida found Gideon guilty, and the judge sentenced him to 5 years in prison. While Gideon was in prison, he researched the Constitution of the United States, and found that the 14th Amendment simply stated his cause, therein: “No state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or the due process of the law.” Gideon further researched the law, in order to determine the process to appeal his conviction. He found the necessary steps were first to petition the Florida court for habeas corpus, in which he wrote of the violation of his 14th amendment rights. The Florida Supreme Court ruled alongside the District Court, and denied his petition.
In this compelling novel, Arc of Justice, written by Kevin Boyle the life of Dr. Ossian Sweet changed dramatically in 1925. The story begins with Ossian Sweet, a young African American boy, living in Bartow, Florida at a time where oppression and segregation was implemented upon people of color by the Whites and those involved in the Ku Klux Klan. With the dreams of being an educated man, Ossian’s parents sent him off to Xenia, Ohio to get an education, where he later becomes a Doctor. He marries a young African American female named Gladys and with both of them having great aspirations of living in a nice neighborhood, they move into the bungalow on Garland. Ossian was skeptical about moving here because he knew that Garland was an all white
Again stated, when Gideon became arrested, he was denied his equal right stated in the fifth amendment. Gideon was brought to trial. When he asked for representation, he was deprived of the right to representation at his trial in the state of Florida. The court did not allow him to get an attorney because it was said that you were only allowed for representation if it was a capital case or if you had a mental defect, and because he didn’t have these qualities he was denied for representation.
Gideon v. Wainwright was a 1963 landmark case in the United States Supreme Court. The court case involved the right to counsel under the Fifth and Sixth Amendment that eventually lead to a fundamental right. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that states are required under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to provide an attorney to defendants in criminal cases who are unable to afford their own attorneys. On June 3,1963 in Panama City, Florida a man known by Clarence Earl Gideon was arrested and charged with breaking and entering a poolroom in Florida with the intent to commit a misdemeanor offense therefore, he was charged with a felony. Clarence Earl Gideon was a poor man from Florida who ran away from home at a early age and was also under educated and had dyslexic throughout his life.
Gideon requested that the Florida Supreme Court review his case on the grounds that the court had violated his constitutional rights by denying him an attorney. The Florida Supreme Court denied his petition because a US Federal Court of Appeals had decided that states were not bound by the sixth amendment in 1941. He wrote another petition to the Supreme Court of the United States. He asked them to reconsider the 1941 decision and hear his case. The Supreme Court accepted Gideon's petition and decided to overrule the previous precedent in favor of Gideon (the Administrative Office of the U.S.
Wainwright illustrated the importance of personal rights guaranteed by the constitution. This case began when Clarence Gideon was denied a court appointed lawyer to represent him in a petty crime case. Gideon, unable to afford his own lawyer, was unable to adequately defend himself and consequently was convicted. However, he was undeterred. Gideon then wrote a letter to the Supreme Court to overturn this conviction with the 6th Amendment as his evidence of the court’s misconduct.
For instance, the defendants were not allowed an attorney or any sort of help, although the prosecution was. This even violated the sixth amendment in the American Constitution, meaning it was outright illegal (EB 1). Another example of unfairness to the defendant, is that all of the judges of the court had no legal background or training, and ran the courts only from the knowledge of the Bible, and advice from Ministers (2 CSD 1). This lack of legal background almost guaranteed that if they had to make a decision, they would decide in favor of the prosecution, because that was the side they supported. Furthermore, the courts were also run unfairly because anytime someone was found not guilty, the judges would urge the jury to think again, trying to make them vote guilty (1 CSD
I am here today to defend my client, Thomas Putnam, who has allegedly been sending his daughter, Ruth, out to falsely accuse neighbors of witchcraft. The reason, as declared by Giles Corey, is to buy off his convicted neighbor’s land in order to expand his estate. However, I am here to refute these inadequate claims with the clear and defined truth. Nevertheless, I will not claim that my client, Mr. Putnam, is a complete saint as he (and with numerous others) has his flaws. Yet, with Mr. Corey raising these erroneous claims, I will not stand here and let his faulty and inaccurate logic falsely persuade the jury.
The justice system has always been the heart of America. But like this country, it has many faults. Prejudice has played a major role in the shaping of this system. In the 1930’s the way a courtroom was set up was completely different from how it looks to day. In the book To Kill A MockingBird, Harper Lee shows just how different it is.