Gideons Trumpet Essay

945 words - 4 pages

The statement, ?In theory, the courts are the great equalizer in the federal government. One need not represent a large interest group or a powerful political action committee in order to be heard in a court. In a court individuals matter,? tells us that a courtroom is supposed to be a place where a person is given his or her rights, and able to speak openly and freely to the judge and jury.In Gideon?s Trumpet, Clarence Earl Gideon was sentenced to five years in prison for supposedly a breaking and entering crime. Gideon feels that he should have been represented by a lawyer in order receive his rights as an American citizen. Gideon states that, ? ? I believe that the primary reason of trial in a court of law was to reach the truth. My trial was far from the truth?(pgs.78-79)? He believes that if a person were given an attorney, then that person would receive a fair trial with a just outcome. The court only seemed to look at Gideon through the eyes of the prosecutor, but Gideon felt that if he had had an attorney, the court would have seen both sides of the picture. If the person is guilty, let the prosecutor find him guilty, but if he is innocent, let a defense attorney prove him. If a man has to become his own attorney without knowing the rules and regulations of law, how can that be a fair trial? When Gideon had to represent himself, he had no idea how to go about proving his innocence, so when the prosecutor addressed the jury and judge, he was immediately ?proven? guilty.When Gideon was in prison, he wrote to the Supreme Court, asking them to review his case, telling them that he did not receive a fair trial, and that he was serving an unjust sentence. When the Supreme Court sent an opposition to Attorney General Ervin in Florida, where the case had taken place, they received a thirteen page letter overall stating, ?Gideon had not been entitled to trial counsel under the rule of the 1942 decision in Betts v. Brady, that the Constitution guaranteed free counsel to indigent defendants in state criminal cases only when ?special circumstances? showed that a fair trial would otherwise be impossible. (Pg.38)? Attorney General Ervin felt that the state of Florida had dealt with Gideon?s case in the correct agreement with the laws and regulations.When Chief Justice Warren and the Court appointed Abe Fortas to represent Gideon, a ?balance? was created because foremost; Abe Fortas was one of the top lawyers in Washington, but there was something larger at stake. The Supreme Court was going to give the chance for Abe Fortas to argue the case of Betts v. Brady case, and possibly change a major law of America. ?Abe Fortas was known...

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