The Hallmark Case Of Gideon V. Wainwright

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Throughout all of American history, no other document has maintained an equally important and ever changing role in our government than the United States Constitution. The Constitution drew the plans for the creation the three branches of government and provided the structure on which the national government would grow. The most famous aspect of the Constitution is the Bill of Rights. Written by James Madison as a response to the States’ demands that individual liberties be provided and protected, the Bill of Rights serves to establish the personal rights of every man in America. Among these rights are the right to counsel, which is preserved in the Sixth Amendment, and the right to not withstand or be subjected to cruel or unusual punishment, …show more content…
These rights include the right to a fair, speedy, and public trial by a jury. It also includes the right to counsel in the case that the defendant cannot provide his or her own. The right to counsel, specifically, has been a staple of American ue process. In the hallmark case of Gideon v. Wainwright, the right to a court appointed counsel was upheld. Clarence Earl Gideon broke into a pool lounge in Florida with the intent to commit misdemeanor offenses. Gideon subsequently stood on trial for these charges, appearing in court without counsel. He requested that the court appoint him an attorney, in accordance with his right as stated by the Sixth Amendment. However, according to Florida state law, an attorney can only be appointed to a defendant in capital cases, and as a result the court did not appoint him one. Gideon represented himself and was later found guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison. This case questioned the Sixth Amendment 's extension of the right to counsel in state criminal felony cases. In a 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the right to counsel and argued that it extended to all cases. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark argued that the Constitution guarantees the right to counsel in order to protect due process. The Gideon v Wainwright case was as milestone decision in which the Constitution was interpreted very …show more content…
United States. In this case, the court ruled 5-3, declaring that the government’s ability to freeze a defendant 's non-tainted assets during a trial violated the constitution. This is relevant because the court reasoned that without access to proper funds, a defendant might not be able to provide themselves with adequate counsel for their trial. In Glossip v. Gross, the Supreme Court affirmed in a divided 5-4 judgement that the burden of proof required to classify Oklahoma’s use of midazolam, a sedative, as cruel and unusual punishment had indeed not been met. These recent instances of the Constitution’s interpretation have shed an ever growing light on how the American justice system works and the continuing understanding of the United States Constitution. As the nation has evolved, the interpretation of the Constitution has varied. While the Sixth Amendment has been largely upheld in most domestic cases, in fact it has routinely been denied to those who are entitled to its protection when the government deems the situation as a threat to national security. Similarly, the understanding of the Eighth Amendment has been strictly interpreted in matters of domestic law, but the meaning is deviated from in cases where national security has taken the

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