Gideon v wainwright essay

Extending the concept of equality in justice for civil cases involving fundamental rights is an evolution of that law. Public opinion supports the idea of civil Gideon.


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A nationwide survey involving adults studied public attitudes toward legal aid. In California, a similar study asked respondents if poor people were afforded free representation in civil matters. Seventy-nine percent believed, incorrectly, that a right to counsel already existed California. These results suggest there is popular support for the concept of equal justice for the poor.

3Qs: The lasting impact of historic Gideon ruling

The primary counterargument for civil Gideon is cost. These sentiments echo those of our justice system.

Gideon V. Wainwright Supreme Court Case

The time has come for Minnesota to extend the right of counsel to all people seeking to maintain access to their homes. Legal assistance for poor tenants is appropriate and necessary to ensure that we do not deprive them of this basic human right. In support of Gideon v.

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California State Bar Report. Gideon v. Supreme Court of the United States. Perucco, Dan. San Francisco Administrative code. Article 58, sections March 06 1. United Nations General Assembly. Williams, Carol. You must be logged in to post a comment. Courthouse named for Judge Diana E. Murphy Judge allows premature birth lawsuit to proceed.

Essay: The rights of tenants present a case for civil Gideon By: arthughes December 4, Louisiana , 25 decided five years later, that the Court fully explored its application of the selective incorporation doctrine. Subsequent discussions of the selective incorporation doctrine have concentrated on Duncan , not Gideon , 26 and it is Duncan , rather than Gideon , that achieved prominence in large part because of its relationship to that doctrine.

The briefs in Gideon , with good reason, addressed the question of whether Betts produced a ruling that was inconsistent with the subsequent decision in Griffin v. Douglas v. It did not stress the need for the process to treat the indigent and the non-indigent equally. Rather, the focus was on the general applicability of the fair trial requirement also the theme of Johnson v.

Gideon v. Wainwright Essay Project

Every state criminal justice process includes procedures through which a defendant may obtain an advantageous result that go beyond the procedural prerequisites for a fair trial. A broad equality requirement would ensure that the indigent had the means to take advantage of the most important of those procedures. Unlike Gideon , Douglas addressed such a procedure.

Due process did not require appellate review, but Douglas required that the indigent be given counsel to take advantage of the equal protection access to such review already guaranteed by Griffin. As between Gideon and Douglas , with respect to the development of an equality principle, Douglas appeared to me to be the more significant case, both in doctrine and practical impact.

Also, the Douglas ruling would impact far more states than Gideon. Application of the Sixth Amendment guarantee to the states was certain to present constitutional questions that had not yet been resolved in the application of that Amendment solely to the federal system. I considered writing about Gideon and the future development of the Sixth Amendment. My conclusion was that the Gideon opinion offered limited direction as to the first issue and basically no direction as to the other three.

When the Court in Scott v. Gideon strongly indicated that the right was not limited to felonies, but did no more than that. Thus, Justices White and Stewart who had joined the Gideon opinion could readily be part of the Scott majority. At what point in the criminal process does the constitutional right to counsel attach, and at what steps in the process thereafter does the defendant have a right to insist upon the participation of that counsel?

Prior to Gideon , the Court had provided at least partial answers to both these questions in the course of applying the due process right to counsel. Hamilton v.

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Hamilton involved a trial arraignment proceeding at which the defense of insanity was forfeited if not pleaded. Maryland , decided several weeks before Gideon was argued, that critical stage analysis was extended to a preliminary hearing at which the uncounseled defendant entered a guilty plea, which was used against him when he later changed his mind and went to trial. White was particularly significant in this regard because it required appointment before the defendant reached the trial court.


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  • Although Gideon emphasized the need for counsel to ensure a fair trial, that reasoning did not alter a critical stage analysis that could include pretrial proceedings because of their impact on the trial. The critical stage concept had been derived from Powell v. Zerbst , which established the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

    There was no suggestion that Gideon itself was decisive. Both Hamilton and White involved judicial proceedings, and the starting point for becoming an accused was also a judicial proceeding the first appearance.

    The Court later concluded that critical stage analysis applied to non-judicial proceedings involving the accused e. A pre- Gideon ruling had also addressed the question of whether the Constitution required the state to provide an indigent defendant with the assistance of a defense expert. United States ex rel. Smith v. Baldi viewed that claim as presenting a due process issue that stood apart from the right-to-counsel cases.

    Zerbst and the discussion there of the wide range of assistance that could be provided by court appointed counsel. Zerbst discussions. Oklahoma , 62 it suggested otherwise.

    Ake too relied on due process rather than the constitutional right to counsel, but it held that due process did require appointment of a defense psychiatric expert when a sufficient showing of relevance was made. Smith had been a capital case, where a constitutional right to counsel did exist even in state cases. In any event, as to the later cases, Griffin arguably played the more important role in rejecting disparate treatment of indigent defendants.

    Pre- Gideon precedent also addressed the concept of effective assistance. Powell v. United States , 69 another pre- Gideon ruling, the Court held that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel was violated when the trial court directed a retained defense attorney to also represent a codefendant, thereby creating a conflict of interest, which led counsel to forego actions that would have favored only one of the codefendants.

    One common characteristic of each of these pre- Gideon rulings was that the trial court was responsible for the lack of effective representation. United States , a prominent opinion by Judge Prettyman of the D.

    Gideon Vs. Wainwright Essay

    Court, noted:. It has never used the term to refer to the quality of the service rendered by a lawyer. Sullivan , the Supreme Court put to rest, in another context, any state action restriction on the character of the counsel deficiencies constituting ineffective assistance. However, a possible reference point was a line of due process cases holding that actions of a prosecutor or trial court had or had not resulted in an unfair trial.

    In , this meant turning to older cases such as Moore v. Dempse y 88 and Mooney v. Holohan , 89 and more recent cases, such as Thompson v. Louisville 90 and Brady v. Maryland 91 decided the same term as Gideon. Of course, Gideon insisted on a flat rule as to the appointment of counsel, eschewing a case-by-case analysis, but that differs from a post-conviction analysis where assistance was provided.

    It did not take the further step, however, of characterizing the Sixth Amendment right to counsel as a mandated structural component of the adversary process, similar to other Sixth Amendment rights in particular the confrontation and compulsory process clause. It stressed the fair trial objection, and a properly functioning adversary process was part of that focus, as its objective of adjudicative reliability certainly is a major element of a fair trial.

    As United States v.