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Petitioner was charged in a Florida state court with having broken and entered a poolroom with intent to commit a misdemeanor. This offense is a felony under [p] Florida law. Appearing in court without funds and without a lawyer, petitioner asked the court to appoint counsel for him, whereupon the following colloquy took place: Gideon, I am sorry, but I cannot appoint Counsel to represent you in this case.
Under the laws of the State of Florida, the only time the Court can appoint Counsel to represent a Defendant is when that person is charged with a capital offense. I am sorry, but I will have to deny your request to appoint Counsel to defend you in this case. Put to trial before a jury, Gideon conducted his defense about as well as could be expected from a layman.
He made an opening statement to the jury, cross-examined the State's witnesses, presented witnesses in his own defense, declined to testify himself, and made a short argument "emphasizing his innocence to the charge contained in the Information filed in this case.
Later, petitioner filed in the Florida Supreme Court this habeas corpus petition attacking his conviction and sentence on the ground that the trial court's refusal to appoint counsel for him denied him rights "guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by the United States Government.
Sincewhen Betts v. Since Gideon was proceeding in forma pauperis, we appointed counsel to represent him and requested both sides to discuss in their briefs and oral arguments the following: Betts was indicted for robbery in a Maryland state court.
On arraignment, he told the trial judge of his lack of funds to hire a lawyer and asked the court to appoint one for him.
Betts was advised that it was not the practice in that county to appoint counsel for indigent defendants except in murder and rape cases.
He then pleaded not guilty, had witnesses summoned, cross-examined the State's witnesses, examined his own, and chose not to testify himself. He was found guilty by the judge, sitting without a jury, and sentenced to eight years in prison. Betts was denied any relief, and, on review, this Court affirmed.
It was held that a refusal to appoint counsel for an indigent defendant charged with a felony did not necessarily violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which, for reasons given, the Court deemed to be the only applicable federal constitutional provision.
Asserted denial [of due process] is to be tested by an appraisal of the totality of facts in a given case. That which may, in one setting, constitute a denial of fundamental fairness, shocking to the universal sense of justice, may, in other circumstances, and in the light of other considerations, fall short of such denial.
Treating due process as "a concept less rigid and more fluid than those envisaged in other specific and particular provisions of the Bill of Rights," the Court held that refusal to appoint counsel under the particular facts and circumstances in the Betts case was not so "offensive to the common and fundamental ideas of fairness" as to amount to a denial of due process.
Since the facts and circumstances of the two cases are so nearly indistinguishable, we think the Betts v.
Brady holding, if left standing, would require us to reject Gideon's claim that the Constitution guarantees him the assistance of counsel.LeBron James explains to SI's Lee Jenkins why he's returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers after spending four seasons with the Miami Heat. the NFL Draft picks live by round, college, player, and NFL team.
Includes expert pick-by-pick analysis and video coverage. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. We all use Smartphones nowadays, which grants us the possibility to install hacking applications on our mobiles.
Whether it is for business matters or personal, what really matters is the quality of the software that you decide to use. Jun 26, · Wade Henderson, president and C.E.O. of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, criticized the decision on Tuesday. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times.
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