Summary Of Gideon Vs. Wainwright

578 Words3 Pages

Matt Ritchey
Mr. McAdam
Law and Society
Gideon v. Wainwright Case Summary
The Supreme Court case of Gideon v. Wainwright was a landmark case in Supreme Court history. It not only established the right to an attorney, but also a fair trial.
The criminal case of Gideon v. Wainwright lasted from 1961 to 1963. On June 3, 1961, Clarence Earl Gideon, a fifty one year old drifter, robbed a poolhouse for money and beer. The robbery took place at around eight at night. A witness saw Gideon leave with money in his pockets and beer bottles in his hands. The police arrested him on this description alone and charged him with breaking and entering.
At the trial, Gideon appeared in court alone as he was too poor to afford counsel, whereupon the following conversation took place.
“The COURT: Mr. Gideon, I am sorry, but I cannot appoint counsel to represent you in this case. Under the laws of the State of Florida, the only time the court can appoint counsel to represent a defendant is when that person is charged with a capital offense. I …show more content…

Then Gideon tried to defend himself, but like many of us, he could not defend very well so was found guilty. He then was sentenced to imprisonment. Then Gideon applied to the state supreme court with a Writ of Habeas Corpus on the ground that the conviction violated his sixth amendment right. The Florida State Supreme Court then reviewed his case and agreed with the lower court. Gideon was not eligible to receive an attorney from the state. Gideon then appealed to the Supreme Court who took his case. They reached a unanimous decision that the state of Florida, by denying Gideon an attorney, had violated his Sixth Amendment right. They said “The Sixth Amendment requires states to provide defense attorneys to any indigent criminal defendant charged with a felony or

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