Gideon's Trumpet

The movie Gideon's Trumpet tells the story of Clarance Gideon and a court case of Gideon versus Wainwright. It is based on Gideon’s accusation of breakage into a pool room and theft of wine, beer, coca cola, cigarettes, and money from the pool’s register.

In the event of the robbery, a man standing outside testified to having seen Gideon leaving with a bottle of wine, a part of what had been stolen. Later, when Gideon was brought in for answering some questions by a police officer, he was found to possess a lot of change in his pockets. That led to his arrest at that moment. However, the change was some of his gains from his gambling (McGregor, 2005).

On the first day of his trial, Gideon had no lawyer. When he asked the judge whether he could appoint one for him, his request was denied. The accused had to defend himself. Gideon could not defend himself and, therefore, could not prove his innocence to the jury who went ahead and convicted him.

In addition to four prior convictions, the judge sentenced Gideon to five years imprisonment. This did not stop Gideon from studying law  in prison in a quest to attempt to acquire sufficient knowledge to appeal against his conviction. He had a belief that he had gone on unconstitutional and unfair trial (McGregor, 2005).

In his second trial, after a successful appeal which threatened to add him more years in jail, Gideon was appointed an ACLU lawyer. However, he convinced the judge that he would not be comfortable with the ACLU lawyer. Instead, Gideon desired a layer that he would be comfortable with, someone he knew.

The right to counsel is provided only when the defendant faces the chances of imprisonment. The defendant can also get a lawyer only at trial and after the first appeal, such as in Gideon’s case, where the defendants are convicted. Counsel is also entitled to Juveniles. This plea was sustained. A lawyer that he knew was allotted to represent him in the court proceedings and he did an excellent job proving his client’s innocence.

Supreme Court’s practices depicted in the movie showed that the Florida law affirmed that only defendants involved in capitol cases had a right to be appointed lawyers unless it was an exceptional condition. That led to Gideon’s denial of a lawyer (McGregor, 2005).

Discussing the issue of the right to counsel,  it was unfair to deny Gideon the right as he may have lacked skills and guidance that would have proved his innocence. Provision of the right to counsel would not have gone to extents of separating and interrupting the defendant’s normal life, and that of his family. Lawyers have diverse knowledge that is crucial to the freedom of their clients.

According to McGregor, the following are the reasons why attorneys ought to be appointed for all defendants, including the indigent. Reasons and reflections require the courts to recognize that, in the United State’s adversary structure of criminal justice, any suspects brought to court who are poor to afford hiring lawyers will never be guaranteed a fair trial on condition that counsel is provided for them (Abel et al, 2006).

Governments, both federal and state significantly spend a large amount of money on institute machinery to try suspects accused of crimes. The right to counsel of suspects charged of crime may not be considered fundamental or essential to fair trials, but it is deemed significant in the U.S.

The 6th Amendment gives defendants a right to lawyers in federal prosecutions. However, this right did not realize state prosecutions on felony offences until the year 1963 in Gideon v. Wainwright. This noble superlative cannot be established if the poor suspects charged of crimes have to face their accusers short of lawyers to assist them (Abel et al, 2006).

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