Gideon v. Wainwright Story Board
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In the early morning on June 3, 1961 in Panama City, Florida there was a case of breaking and entering that occurred at the Bay Harbor Pool Room. The room was found with damage such as a broken window and the cigarette machine and jukebox broken into.
Clarence Earl Gideon was arrested after being found right around the corner from the scene after a few witnesses had reported seeing him in the pool room in the early morning. He was reported to have had loose change and a pint of alcohol with him.
After having a rather negative track record with the law, the court didn't see Gideon in the best light when it came to the the verdict. Gideon was sentenced to five years in Florida state prison after being found guilty of breaking and entering and petty larceny. He was also unjustly denied of a lawyer in this case due to the judge denying him because he did not fit the alleged 'special circumstances'.
While in prison Gideon began studying the law and his suspicions of being unjustly denied a lawyer were confirmed. After discovering this turning point in the case Gideon filed for a special order to the Supreme Court of Florida of which would free him for being illegally imprisoned. This is call a habeas corpus. After writing one more petition from his cell the court agreed to hear his case again an ruled unanimously in his favor.
The court's decision was influenced by the fourteenth amendment.
This court had the impact of future courts being certain to provide attorneys to those of whom could not afford a lawyer and could not adequately represent themselves.
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