Professor: Dr. D. Jones-Brown, J.D., Ph.D.
February 25, 2013
The famous story Gideon Trumpet and his court case of Gideon vs. Wainwright. Clarence Earl Gideon was accused of breaking and entering a pool room with the intent to commit a misdemeanor, and petty larceny, claimed to have stolen some wine, beer, cigarettes, coca cola, and change from the register. When the pool hall was robbed, Henry cook the man standing outside that claimed he saw Gideon leaving with a bottle of wine. Later on, the policeman questioned Gideon, he was carrying a large amount of change in his pocket. Gideon was than arrested at Panama City, Florida. At the time of the petitioner’s trial Gideon asked the lower court for the aid of council, the court refused this aid. The lower court ignored this plea. Clarence Earl Gideon said his conviction violated the due process clause of the fourteenth Amendment to the constitution, which provides the “No State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or poverty, without due process of law. After much research, Gideon sent a five page hand written appeal titled “Petition for a Writ of Certiorari Directed to the Supreme Court State of Florida” to the Supreme Court of the United States. A submission of documents was basically asking the Supreme Court to hear his case. When the court finally said yes to hear his case, Gideon was appointed a lawyer, Justice Hugo Black. Justice Black did a good job defending Gideon and won the case ruling 9 to 0 in favor of Gideon. After years of imprisonment Clarence Earl Gideon is finally a free man.
Clarence Earl Gideon is a fifty-one-year-old white man who had been in and out of prisons. He had served time for four previous felonies, he was also described prematurely aged face, wrinkled, a voice and hands that trembled, a frail body, white hair. Clarence Earl Gideon has never been a professional criminal or a man of violence. He was a man that could not settle down and resort to gambling as a way of life and occasional theft.
Clarence Earl Gideon believes that he was denied due process of the law because he was not assigned an attorney during his trial in the early 1960s. Gideon felt that he was entitled to a lawyer because the charges were brought against him. He was forced into this experience, so he felt he had the right to have a lawyer defend him rather than just himself.
Clarence Earl Gideon, in his mind felt that the idea that the Constitution assured him of that right, files a five page document, hand written in pencil entitled “Petition for Writ of Certiorari Directed to the Supreme Court State of Florida” a petition to the United States Supreme Court asking to bring up the case up to Supreme Court from a lower Court.
Gideon petitioned the Court in in forma pauperis. A federal statute permits persons to proceed in any federal court. A in forma pauperis is “petition exempts poor, needy plaintiffs without having to pay for normal fees associated with the petitioning the Court, and make affidavit that he is unable to pay such costs or give security” (Lewis, 1964, p. 4)
In the petition this was the original titled Gideon v. Cochran. The five page hand written petition that Gideon wrote he had been convicted of breaking and entering in the Bay Harbor Poolroom in Panama City, Florida. The most important point of Gideon’s petition to the Court was that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which state that No state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, had been violated when the lower court had denied Gideon’s request for an attorney. In the petition Gideon stated at the time of trial he asked the lower court for aid of council, the court refused the aid and ignore his plea. The legal issue in Gideon’s case was whether or not established the right of people who could not…