Gideon V. Wainwright Case Study

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Case Title: Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 US 335 (1963); Clarence Earl Gideon is the plaintiff, and Louie L. Wainwright is the defendant. The Law: The Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment requires a criminal defendant, who has been charged with a felony, to be appointed a defense attorney. The Court held that the Sixth Amendment’s “guarantee of counsel is a fundamental right essential to a fair trial and, as such, applies the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment” (Facts). The Sixth Amendment allows the accused, in a criminal case, to have “the right to counsel, confront witnesses, and have a speedy/public trial (Gideon v. Wainwright (7)). The Facts of the Case: At issue was whether or not the holding of Betts v. Brady should be reversed. Clarence E. Gideon, who was arrested in 1961 and charged for breaking into the Panama City pool hall to commit a felony, under Florida law. Gideon couldn’t afford a lawyer and when Gideon asked for one to be appointed to him, the judge denied his request. The judge said, “Under Florida State Law, counsel can be appointed...

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