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Gideon vs Wainwright

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Submitted By cvrepke
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Gideon v. Wainwright | By Caroline Repke | Newsletter Date Volume 1, Issue 1 | Yakey, Randal. "Panama City Case Changed Legal History 50 Years Ago." News Herald [Panama City] 17 Mar. 2013: n. pag. Student Research Center. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
Yakey, Randal. "Panama City Case Changed Legal History 50 Years Ago." News Herald [Panama City] 17 Mar. 2013: n. pag. Student Research Center. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. America at this time: America at this time:


| | On June 3rd, 1961, Clarence Earl Gideon broke into the Bay Harbor Pool Room on Everitt Avenue in Panama City, Florida. A witness said that Gideon had been stealing money from the vending machines, and police later found him with more than $25 in change in his pockets. Gideon was arrested for vagrancy and was charged for breaking and entering. During his first trial, Gideon asked the judge to appoint him a defense attorney, as he was unable to afford one. The judge refused though, stating that he could only provide Gideon with an attorney if he had been charged with a capital offense. Gideon argued that he was entitled to an attorney because of what the Sixth Amendment states. Nonetheless, Gideon was put on trial and was sentenced to five years in prison on August 4th, 1961. While in prison, Gideon wrote a writ of habeas corpus, which was a letter demanding that he be brought before the court once more in order to determine if he had been held legally or should be released. Gideon first sent this to the Florida Supreme Court and was denied. He then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and they agreed to hear the case once more. On March 18th, 1963, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision written by Justice Hugo Black, stated Gideon’s conviction was unconstitutional and agreed to give him a new trial. They stated that the Sixth Amendment said “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall…...

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