1910 August 30

Clarence Gideon, Famous Supreme Court Plaintiff, is Born

 

Clarence Gideon, born on this day, was the plaintiff in the historic Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright, decided on March 18, 1963, in which the Court held that defendants facing felony charges had a constitutional right to an attorney at trial under the Sixth Amendment.

The Gideon decision had the effect of forcing local governments to develop public defender offices in those areas where they did not exist in order to ensure compliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Read the classic book: Anthony Lewis, Gideon’s Trumpet (1964)

See the movie starring Henry Fonda: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080789/

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