"We rule in favor of Gideon, to overturn Betts v. Brady."
Gideon handwrote a petition in his prison cell asking the Supreme Court to hear his case.The court allowed him to file in forma pauperis, or free of charge. After reading the petition, they agreed to hear his case.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Gideon in a unanimous decision.Justice Black wrote the opinion of the court, which ruled that the right to assistance of counsel in felony criminal cases is a fundamental right.
The court concluded that the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a right to counsel was fundamental and essential to a fair trial in both state and federal criminal justice system.In all criminal cases, states must provide lawyers for indigent defendants.