Gideon VS Wainwright

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  • GIDEON VS WAINWRIGHT
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  • Gideon was charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit a misdemeanor, which is a felony under Florida law. At trial, Gideon could not afford an attorney, so at trial Gidion was not strong enough and was found guilty by the jury.  Gideon felt that his constitutional rights were violated so he filed a handwritten petition in the Supreme Court of the United States.  The Court agreed to hear the case to resolve the question of whether the right to counsel guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution applies to defendants in state court.
  • Whether the right to counsel guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution applies to defendants in state court.
  • The sixth amendment explains that everyone/defendants have the right to an attorney in state court.
  • Gideon filed a habeas corpus petition in the Florida Supreme Court and argued that the trial court's decision violated his constitutional right to be represented by counsel.
  • The Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment guarantee of counsel is a fundamental right made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
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