Photo of Clarence Earl Gideon.

Gideon v. Wainwright 1963

In Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution requires the states to provide defense attorneys to criminal defendants charged with serious offenses who cannot afford lawyers themselves. The case began with the 1961 arrest of Clarence Earl Gideon. Gideon was charged with breaking and entering into a Panama City, Florida, pool hall and stealing money from the hall's vending machines...

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