The Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment

Sixth Amendment

Who was the defendant in Gideon v. Wainwright?

The defendant was Clarence Earl Gideon, who was charged with stealing money from a Florida pool hall. A jury convicted him of theft and a judge sentenced him to five years in jail. Gideon has asked for a lawyer to represent him, but the state of Florida at that time did not provide attorneys to those defendants who could not afford them. Gideon on his own wrote a five-page petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking them to hear his case. The U.S. Supreme Court appointed well-known D.C. lawyer Abe Fort-as to represent Gideon at the Court.


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