Gideon V. Wainwright Essay

919 words - 4 pages - by chocolatylogical ✓ Expert Reviewed

The Bay Harbor Pool Room (a pool hall/bar) in Pensacola Florida was broken into on June 3, 1961. The perpetrators broke a window unlocked a door entering the bar robbing the bar of $5 in change and a few bottles of beer and soda. Clarence Earl Gideon was arrested shortly thereafter at a tavern. A nearby resident, Henry Cook, claimed that he saw Gideon leave the bar with a bottle of wine and his pockets filled with coins, make a phone call, get in a cab and leave. Gideon denied the charges (Wikipedia, 2013).
Gideon was born in Hannibal Missouri on August 30, 1910. After completing the 8th grade, he ran away from home beginning a life as a drifter. By the age of sixteen he had compiled a profile of petty crime spent a year in a reformatory for burglary before he found work at a shoe factory. At the age of eighteen, Missouri police arrested Gideon for robbery, burglary, and larceny. The court sentenced him to ten years in prison but he only served three. For the next thirty years, he lived a life of poverty and crime. Gideon’s crime record included prison terms at Leavenworth Kansas for stealing government property, in Texas for theft, and again in Missouri for stealing, larceny, and escape. In between prison terms, he managed to get married four times; he had six children, managed to stay out of jail until his arrest in 1961. Given his crime record and proximity to the pool hall, Gideon was the perfect suspect for this crime (Wikipedia, 2013).
Original Trial
Gideon appearing before the Florida Court requested that the court appoint him an attorney. His trial judge Robert McCrary, Jr. denied this request. According to Florida State Law, the court could only appoint an attorney to an indigent defendant in capital cases. Gideon had no choice but to represent himself. On August 25, a jury found him guilty and the judge gave him the maximum sentence (five years in prison) (Oyez, 2013). Gideon was 51 years old.
Petition to Higher Courts
Gideon felt the court had violated his Sixth Amendment Rights. While in prison, he began to study the legal system. Deciding that Judge McCrary had violated his constitutional rights to counsel, he wrote letters to the FBI, and filed a habeas corpus petition with the Florida Supreme Court, stating once again that he felt his rights had been violated and asking for intervention. His petition and plea for help was denied (Wikipedia, 2013).
Undeterred, Gideon continued to study the law. In January 1962, Gideon sat down in his prison cell with a pencil and prison stationary, and began writing his argument. When completed he submitted five page hand written petition...

Find Another Essay On Gideon v. Wainwright

Inequality in the American Justice System

946 words - 4 pages be blind. Despite this there have been many disparities in the justice system due to racial, social class, and economic reasons. "Absent race and class disparities, the privileged among us could not enjoy as much constitutional protection of our liberties as we do..." (Cole 5). The case of Gideon v. Wainwright can be used to illustrate this point. Cole...

Natural law in the Gideon Case

1261 words - 5 pages Is the right to an attorney a fundamental right or not? This very question was raise in the US Supreme Court with the case of Gideon v Wainwright. Mr. Gideon, a man in Florida, faced a misdemeanor change. When the case was brought to court he asked the court if they could appoint him an attorney because he could not afford to get one on his own. The judge in the case denied him that request because he was not facing a capital offense. The...

Supreme Court Justices

1136 words - 5 pages retired May 14, 1969. Fortas was in a couple major cases but I chose the three that I thought were important. The ones that I chose were Durham v. United States, Gideon v. Wainwright, and Epperson v. Arkansas. Abraham Fortas died April 5, 1982, at age 71. Gideon v. Wainwright case began in 1961 when Clarence Earl Gideon was arrested for breaking and entering pool hall in Panama City, Florida. He was denied an attorney to represent him. He was...

Gideon vs. Wainwright case

1416 words - 6 pages to an attorney. This case provided to be important later on to the evolution that led to the case of Gideon vs. Wainwright.Although the Bill of Rights included a number of protections for people accused of crimes, many of the guarantees went unenforced in state courts, which were held to be outside the reach of the federal Bill of Rights. This...

Providing A Lawyer

1061 words - 4 pages . Wainwright was a court case where the defendant was not provided a lawyer and Gideon had to defend himself. Despite his efforts to defend himself he was sentenced to five years in prison because of his lack of a lawyer. As shown in the Gideon v. Wainwright court case, defending yourself against a talented attorney is not wise for your case. In the 6th amendment it says you have the right to a speedy and fair trial, a jury, informed of the cause of the...

Recognizing Our Rights

1179 words - 5 pages warnings clearly is when the procedures may begin with the defendant, with his legal counsel. The reason for this accompanied legal counsel grants the defendant protection of self-incriminating himself and understands what is appropriate to answer or to not answer. Within the case of Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963, the Supreme Court decided that, in serious criminal prosecutions, the government must provide counsel for indigent defendants. It is...

The Right to Appointed Counsel in Decisions of the United States Supreme Court prior to Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

1804 words - 7 pages issues, which are needed to provide a counsel. Despite the obvious ambiguity, Betts rule lasted for two decades, even though “the Betts rule come under increasing criticism over the years, but a number of states had voluntary adopted the federal standard [Johnson v. Zerbst] of providing counsel to indigents accused in felony trials” (Urofsky, 2001, pp. 170-171). The US Supreme Court overruled Betts decision in Gideon v. Wainwright (1963...

Inequality in the Legal System of the United States

1970 words - 8 pages U.S. has come to not only accept and hide inequality, but also to depend on inequality to function. Perhaps David Cole said it best, "Absent race and class disparities, the privileged among us could not enjoy as much constitutional protection of our liberties as we do…" (5). The case of Gideon v. Wainwright can be used to illustrate this point. Cole summarizes the case:Clarence Earl Gideon, a penniless Florida man, down on his luck and...

Gideon's Trumpet to discuss the various powers in the US Government.

2484 words - 10 pages ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_v._Wainwright" title="Gideon v. Wainwright">Gideon v. Wainright is an excellent example of how law is made/changed. It illustrates the interactions between many political actors: ordinary citizens, lawyers, Supreme Court, the states and interest groups. Through exploring the story it is possible to understand the different powers each actor posses in the US political system in making laws, and how these powers are...

How The Warren Court Liberalized America

1265 words - 5 pages detained criminal suspects, prior to police questioning the defendant must be informed of their constitutional rights to an attorney and against self-incrimination. It was ruled that the prosecution could not introduce Miranda’s confession as evidence in a criminal trial due do the fault of the police who had failed to first notify him of his rights. Gideon v. Wainwright, Clarence Gideon was charged in the Florida court with a felony for having...

Education for All

1246 words - 5 pages ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_v._Wainwright" title="Gideon v. Wainwright">Gideon v Wainwright the court had to decide to apply the right to counsel as a fundamental right in order to get a right to a fair trial. The Court overturned the Betts rule, to make the right of counsel an implied fundamental right. I know, the Court would overrule the precedent to include education as an implied fundamental right. They would see that people are being denied their...

Similar Essays

Wainwright V gideon Essay

1138 words - 5 pages The question was "Why is the right to counsel a basic civil right?" This question was answered in the case of Gideon v Wainwright. There was a film created about the case talking about due process.The film begins in Florida with the breaking into and robbing of a poolroom. The officer pulls up and sees a young man by the name of Lester wade...

This essay is about the Gideon vs. Wainwright case, in which the 14th amendment was based upon.

515 words - 2 pages Gideon vs. WainwrightAlmost anyone in the Untied States of America can recite their Miranda Rights:"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. You have the right to talk with a lawyer before being questioned and to have the lawyer present during the questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer...

gideon Essay

784 words - 3 pages gideon Gideon v. Wainwright What most people don't know is that in the past those arrested for a crime did not really have "the right to an attorney" unless they had money. This became a right because Clarence Gideon, a prison inmate who did not have the money for a lawyer, took a pencil in his hand and wrote his own petition to the United States Supreme Court. Clarence Gideon, without a lawyer, took his case to the highest court in the...

Gideons Trumpet Essay

945 words - 4 pages poor people to have the same rights has the rich, was a major portion of the Gideon v. Wainwright trial. During the trial, Fortas believed, ?this case dramatically illustrates that you cannot have a fair trial without counsel?I think there is a tendency to forget what happens to these poor, miserable, indigent people?in this Court there is a tendency to...