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Gideon v. Wainwright: America is forever changed
Kimberly Demerath
CJ2799 Criminology and Forensic Technology Capstone
Shril Tyner

Gideon v. Wainwright: America is forever changed

The Criminal Justice System is a necessary aspect of American life. America is known for being the land of the free. If you are living in America you have something called “rights”. Rights as a U.S. citizen are based off “The Bill of Rights” in the United States Constitution. The Constitution clearly states the rights that each and every American citizen are entitled to. Most of the population don’t quite understand how many rights they actually do have as an American. With freedom and rights in our citizens’ defense, it’s only natural that more crimes occur and the criminals become incarcerated. But, did you ever think maybe the innocent get put behind bars all because they did not understand their rights? I have the perfect example which forever changed American history and those wrongfully accused; it’s the case of Gideon v. Wainwright.

As I previously stated; the famous case of Gideon v. Wainwright played such an important role in the development of the criminal justice system and forever changed American history. In June 1961, a burglary occurred at the Bay Harbor Pool Room in Panama City, FL. Police arrested Clarence Earl Gideon after he was found nearby with a pint of wine and some change in his pockets. Gideon, who could not afford a lawyer, asked a Florida Circuit Court judge to appoint one for him arguing that the Sixth Amendment entitles everyone to a lawyer. The judge denied his request and Gideon was left to represent himself. He did a poor job of defending himself and was found guilty of breaking and entering and petty larceny. (Legal Information Institute, n.d.) While serving his sentence in a Florida State Prison he became very interested in the law. He spent a vast majority...
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