Gideon's Trumpet Essay

738 WordsDec 3, 20093 Pages
Gideon’s Trumpet Clarence believed he was denied his constitutional rights and while he was in prison he researched books about the law. Through his reading the sixth and fourteenth amendments were deprived of him. He later wrote a petition, writ of certiorari, to the United States Supreme Court. After much deliberation made by Abe Fortas to the Supreme Court, the Court ruled unanimously that a criminal defendant is entitled to a lawyer if he or she could not provide one for themselves. Gideon had a retrial and chose a lawyer to defend him, Fred Turner. Mr. Turner proved that Clarence Earl Gideon was not guilty and actually Lester Wade was the guilty party. After all the hard work that Clarence had done, he was now a free man and forever changed the course of how the courts appointed lawyers. Nearly twenty years before 1963 there was the case of Betts v. Brady. This case represents the same instances as of Gideon v. Wainwright but the outcome of Betts v. Brady was the opposite. Betts committed a robbery, went to trail, and was denied counsel. Betts petitioned to the Supreme Court was heard but was over ruled by a 6-3 vote. For nearly twenty years the Betts v. Brady case was the foundation for future cases dealing with criminals without counsel until Gideon v. Wainwright. Clarence Earl Gideon went to trial on August 4, 1961 for the assumption of burglary; he had asked for a lawyer but was denied. He had felt his rights were denied and petitioned to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court looked into Mr. Gideon’s case and ruled in favor of Mr. Gideon. The Gideon v. Wainwright case is incredible, it shows that the Supreme Court can change a verdict that they ruled on and make it right. It also shows that one person can change the course of history. "If an obscure Florida convict named Clarence Earl Gideon had not sat down in his prison cell
Open Document