Discuss three of the following Supreme Court cases. What was the background of each case? What type of freedoms or civil rights did the outcome of these cases provide? What do they have in common?
Engel v. Carr
Gideon v. Wainright
Miranda V. Arizona
Loving v. Virginia
Topeka v. Brown Roe v. Wade
Supreme Court Cases: Gideon v. Wainright, 1963
In 1961, Clarence Earl Gideon was arrested for breaking and entering into a pool hall in Panama City, Florida and stealing money from the hall’s cigarette machine. Gideon’s charges and arrest were brought against him based on an account from one eye witness who reported that he had seen him at the facility earlier that morning leaving with a bottle of wine and money in his pockets.
During trial, George requested the judge to appoint him a lawyer since he couldn’t afford one himself. The judge refused with the reason that a defendant could only be provided with a lawyer if they were charged with a capital offense i.e. if found guilty, they could get the death penalty. Gideon pleaded not guilty and represented himself but was found guilty and sentenced to serve five years in prison. While in prison, Gideon wrote a handwritten petition to the Florida Supreme Court to claim that his conviction was not constitutional because he was not assigned a defense attorney. The Florida Supreme Court denied his petition and Gideon wrote to the US Supreme Court. The Court ruled in Gideon’s favor and upheld that his conviction was unconstitutional in a unanimous decision.
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