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- Clarence Earl Gideon- Age 51 - Panama City, Florida - June 3, 1961 - Break-in at Pool Room - Stolen Change in Juke Box/Vending Machine.

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Presentation on theme: "- Clarence Earl Gideon- Age 51 - Panama City, Florida - June 3, 1961 - Break-in at Pool Room - Stolen Change in Juke Box/Vending Machine."— Presentation transcript:

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2 - Clarence Earl Gideon- Age 51 - Panama City, Florida - June 3, Break-in at Pool Room - Stolen Change in Juke Box/Vending Machine

3  - Gideon could not afford a lawyer  Requests a lawyer at his trial  Denied lawyer/ Defends Himself  Eyewitness points out Gideon  Gideon found guilty

4  Florida law did not require lawyer  Only if it’s capital offense  Betts v. Brady (1942)  States not required to appoint lawyer  Only if special circumstances proven

5  Appeals to Supreme Court  Claims 6 th and 14 th Amendments violated  Right to a lawyer (6 th )  Denied due process of law by Florida  SCOTUS agrees to hear case

6  Did Florida violate right to a lawyer and due process?  Court votes 9-0 in Gideon’s favor  Florida did violate rights  Right to counsel is a fundamental right  Overturns Betts v. Brady  Justice Hugo Black: “lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries”

7  Gideon given new trial with lawyer  Found not guilty  Lead to an expansion of rights for accused  Right to a lawyer is fundamental  Help establish public defenders

8 RFK’s Comments "If an obscure Florida convict named Clarence Earl Gideon had not sat down in prison with a pencil and paper to write a letter to the Supreme Court, and if the Supreme Court had not taken the trouble to look for merit in that one crude petition among all the bundles of mail it must receive every day, the vast machinery of American law would have gone on functioning undisturbed. But Gideon did write that letter. The Court did look into his case and he was retried with the help of a competent defense counsel, found not guilty, and released from prison after two years of punishment for a crime he did not commit, and the whole course of American legal history has been changed." Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy November 11, 1963


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