Part II: How the Courts Address or Respect Our Rights as Citizens – Presentation
Read/review the following resources for this activity:
- Textbook: Chapter 17. Also, Chapters 11 and 12 from Week 6 might still be relevant.
- Minimum of 2 scholarly sources in addition to the textbook.
This is Part II of the assignment you submitted in Week 6.
Using the case outline (Part I: How the Courts Address or Respect Our Rights as Citizens) you submitted in Week 6, prepare and submit a presentation, which will either be a narrated PowerPoint, a Kaltura Video, or some other format as approved by your instructor. Be sure to verify the presentation format with your instructor before starting work on this assignment.
The presentation Point presentation will need to include:
- Name the case
- Discuss the facts of the case
- Discuss the history of the case (what laws or legal action was taken)
- Discuss the issues or the facts of the case and legal questions the court must decide
- Discuss if the court’s decision or holdings was for the plaintiff or for the defendant and what were the reasons for the decision?
- Discuss the concurring and dissenting opinions from the judge or if a jury trial, the jury.
Important: In this assignment, you are expected to elaborate on the points you made in the prior assignment in Week 6. This assignment will be graded on your strength to elaborate and explain the facts of the case and proper use of visual aids, good narration, and presenting to the case and how well you stick to the case. For example, if you are using PowerPoint, you are also expected to include proper visuals that are relevant to the case. Do not copy-paste the outline into this and call it complete.
Writing Requirements (APA format)
- Length: The presentation must be 10-15 slides long if using PowerPoint (excluding cover and reference pages) or 3-5 minutes long if using a video presentation.
- Font should not be smaller than size 16-point
- Parenthetical in-text citations included and formatted in APA style
- Title/Introduction slide required
- References slide minimum of 2 scholarly sources in addition to textbook if cited)
- Use the speaker notes to elaborate on the content on the slides1
How the Court Address or Respect our Rights as Citizens Part 1
How the Court Address or Respect our Rights as Citizens Part 1
a. Summary of Case
Gideon vs. wainwright remains to be one of the most infamous supreme court cases in Judicia history. This Supreme Court case declared that defendants charged with a felony must be provided with a court-appointed attorney by the States. Initially, the Litigation was known as Gideon v. Cochran, but when it reached the Supreme Court, the title changed to Gideon vs. wainwright (Oyez, 2018). This happened due to the replacement of the director of Florida’s Division of Corrections from Cochran to Louie Lee Wainwright.
The case commenced when Clarence Earl Gideon was in 1961 charged with a felony for purportedly burgling a Pool Hall in Panama City, FL, and stole some money. Gideon was a poor man, and during his first trial, he requested the Court to appoint an attorney who would represent him. Gideons requests were refuted despite not having the capacity to select a lawyer for himself. The prosecutors had witnesses who had seen Gideon at the crime scene. However, he had not been seen committing the crime (Oyez, 2018). The court ruling sentenced Gideon to five years imprisonment despite the lack of concrete evidence. Gideon considered the detention as unjust and filed a petition to the Florida Supreme court. His claims in the petition were that he did not have an attorney general to defend him during the trial, which made it unconstitutional.
Gideon’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus from the Supreme Court of Florida was accepted. The judicial system had denied Gideon his 6th amendment rights. In 1963, the case was reassessed, and the Supreme Court ruled out that the judgment that had earlier been made to Gideon was unconstitutional (Greenberg & Page, 2018). The Court ruled that all defendants need to have the assistance of Counsel in their defense, and Gideon was thus set free.
b. Case Outline
1. Title: Gideon vs. wainwright (1963)
2. Facts of the Case
Clarence Earl Gideon was an eighth-grade dropout who had run away from home when he was in the middle class. He was a drifter who spent most of his time in and out of prison. He was charged with a lawful offense of breaking into a Pool room in Florida (Oyez, 2018). He appeared in Court without legal Counsel and requested the Court to appoint one for him. His request was denied. Back then, a lawyer would only be given to an indigent offender in capital cases. The defendant was forced to represent himself in Court, where he was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison (Oyez, 2018). Clarence Earl Gideon appealed his case again to the Supreme Court of the United States. The case was reviewed and resolved.
3. History of the case
Clarence Earl Gideon was found guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison (Oyez, 2018).
4. Legal Questions
The Court needed to determine whether Clarence Earl Gideon was guilty or innocent. If found guilty, the Court would decide the number of years that Gideon required to be imprisoned. The Supreme Court of the United States had an excellent task of determining whether Gideon’s conviction was unconstitutional or constitutional. Also, the Supreme Court had to determine whether a poor accused defendant should be given Legal Counsel to represent them in Court.
5. Decision or Holdings
The Supreme Court serves justice to the defendant by making the final decision. In Gideon’s case, the Supreme Court served justice after being abused by the judicial system and denied his 6th amendment rights (Rappaport, 2017). The judicial system in Florida had not done an adequate job in upholding the law, which put the American man at considerable risk. From the Supreme Court ruling, every poor person who cannot afford a legal representative should be allocated one by the Court.
6. Verdict and Opinion
The Supreme Court heard the oral arguments for Gideon vs. wainwright on January 15, 1963. Abe Fortas, the attorney of Gideon, provided that no defendant, regardless of their competence level, could or should give good self-representation before the court (Greenberg & Page, 2018). After two months, on March 18, 1938, Fortas’ claim was accepted by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declared that state courts must guarantee the right to counsel.
Gideon was convicted of committing a lawful burglary at the Bay Harbor Pool Room in Panama City, Florida. He was a semi-literate drifter who could not afford a lawyer at his trial in the state court. He asked the judge to appoint a legal counsel for him, but his request was declined. The judge asserted that the state did not have to pay a lawyer for a poor defendant that did not commit a capital crime. Gideon was left to represent himself, where he was found guilty and sentenced to five years imprisonment. Gideon acquired a legal representative who argued that the judgment had been unconstitutional since Gideon’s 6th amendment rights had been violated by appealing to the Supreme Court. The clear remains prominent in criminal justice history as it made it clear that for all individuals who cannot afford a lawyer, the Court should appoint legal counsel to defend them in the case. This should be done in all cases and not only the serious ones. The case showed that the rights of all human beings should be respected and protected regardless of their position in society.
Greenberg, E. S., & Page, B. I. (2018). Struggle for Democracy, The. Www.pearson.com. https://www.pearson.com/us/higher-education/product/Greenberg-Struggle-for-Democracy-The-10th-Edition/9780205771295.html
Oyez. (2018). Gideon v. Wainwright. Oyez. https://www.oyez.org/cases/1962/155
Rappaport, J. (2017). The Structural Function of the Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel of Choice. The Supreme Court Review, 2016(1), 117–156. https://doi.org/10.1086/691355