Monday, March 18, 2013

Gideon v. Wainwright 50 Years Later

U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Gideon v. Wainwright 50 years ago today. In that case, the Court unanimously decided that Mr Gideon had the right to counsel when accused of a serious crime. He had written a handwritten petition to the Supreme Court which agreed to review his case. According to the National Law Journal, there is near-universal agreement today among lawyers who represent the poor that Gideon's promise of effective legal counsel for everyone charged with a crime has gone unfulfilled. NPR's Morning Edition had a story last week about the case and its implementation. 5 min, transcript available