Pros And Cons Of Gideon Vs Wainwright

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The landmark Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) ruled that the 6th amendment obligated federal and state government to provide an attorney to anyone who could not afford one. Gideon v Wainwright ruled in favor of public defenders to create a mechanism which limited the government’s power by having them prove their convictions beyond a reasonable doubt. Currently, the Supreme Court ruling has created enormous caseloads that many busy courts struggle to handle. As a solution to the problems of high caseloads, plea bargaining has become the primary method of closing cases. Although achieving greater efficiency for the criminal justice is necessary, overly utilizing plea bargains weakens the criminal justice as it fails to reinforce the principles established in Gideon v Wainwright by foregoing trials. The utilization of plea bargains complicates the ruling of Gideon v Wainwright because it creates a mechanism which seeks to process defendant, quickly through the system by incentivizing lesser …show more content…

Criminal trials are not perfect, but by requiring evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, they can prevent several miscarriages of justice. Considering that innocent individuals may arrive at trial for misidentification, police misconduct or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, these individuals are at a disadvantage since by being offered plea deals they avoid trial and avoid the burden of “ beyond a reasonable doubt,” required to be pronounced guilty. Thus, in a CJ system saturated with cases, plea bargains become a mechanism for prosecutors and defense attorneys to bypass trials. For defendants, the fear of incarceration and the unpredictability of juries or judges create the conditions of coercion that might persuade defendants to prefer plea deals over

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