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Gideon's Trumpet by Mind Map: Gideon's Trumpet
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Gideon's Trumpet

Gideon's Trumpet

Parts 1-5

Gideon's Trumpet, Gideon's Trumpet Part 2/11

Gideon's Trumpet Part 3/11, Gideon's Trumpet Part 4/11

Gideon's Trumpet Part 5/11

Parts 6-11

Gideon's Trumpet Part 6/11, Gideon's Trumpet Part 7/11

Gideon's Trumpet Part 8/11, Gideon's Trumpet Part 9/11

Gideon's Trumpet Part 10/11, Gideon's Trumpet Part 11/11

Personal Bio's


Gideon Wainwright

Abe Fortas

Discussion Questions

Should disabilities be taken under consideration as "Special Circumstances" when determining the accused, the guilty or in sentencing?

At special times in our country should rights of the accused be limited?, 9-11, Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, Obama leaves office on January 20, 2017, World War II

Actual Recorded Case

United State Supreme Court

January 15, 1963

Other Vocabulary


admission of guilt

adversarial system of justice amicus curiae

appeal, This is based on a procedure that wasn't followed


Bill of Rights

burden of proof, On the prosecutor


Chief Justice Earl Warren civil liberties


concurring opinion confession





criminal justice system criminal law

criminal procedure

criminal trial

cruel and unusual punishment custody


Dickerson v. United States dissenting opinion

Resources for Definitions

Findlaw—Law Dictionary

due process

Escobedo v. Illinois




Fifth Amendment privilege framers

Gideon v. Wainwright government


innocent until proven guilty interrogation

James Hundley

John Lilburn

judicial opinion


Justice Byron White

Justice Hugo Black


magisterial opinion majority opinion


Miranda rights

Miranda warnings Mirandize


noncustodial interview

opinion of the Court petitioner


police custody police interview prosecution

public safety exception Richard Nixon respondent


right to counsel



Sixth Amendment

Star Chamber


taking the Fifth

the third degree

right to remain silent security self-incrimination

U.S. Constitution voluntary confession Warren Court Wickersham Commission

Prezi Presentation

Our Own Public Defenders

"My public defender scared me into taking EJJ"

By telling me (Age 16) that I was going to have to take EJJ otherwise do 4 years in prison.

I had no knowledge that I could fight my case from the ADC or fight certification from here.

"Willing to Take"

Can anyone ultimately give us advice as inmates since they are not doing the time personally?

"I also didn't know that I could fight my EJJ case from the ADC..."

The Case Itself


Clarence Earl Gideon was an unlikely hero. He was a man with an eighth-grade education who ran away from home when he was in middle school. He spent much of his early adult life as a drifter, spending time in and out of prisons for nonviolent crimes.

Gideon was charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit a misdemeanor, which is a felony under Florida law. At trial, Gideon appeared in court without an attorney. In open court, he asked the judge to appoint counsel for him because he could not afford an attorney. The trial judge denied Gideon’s request because Florida law only permitted appointment of counsel for poor defendants charged with capital offenses.

At trial, Gideon represented himself – he made an opening statement to the jury, cross-examined the prosecution’s witnesses, presented witnesses in his own defense, declined to testify himself, and made arguments emphasizing his innocence. Despite his efforts, the jury found Gideon guilty and he was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Gideon sought relief from his conviction by filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Florida Supreme Court. In his petition, Gideon challenged his conviction and sentence on the ground that the trial judge’s refusal to appoint counsel violated Gideon’s constitutional rights. The Florida Supreme Court denied Gideon’s petition.

Gideon next filed a handwritten petition in the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court agreed to hear the case to resolve the question of whether the right to counsel guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution applies to defendants in state court.


Lower Courts: Bay County Circuit Court, Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida

1961: Lower Court Ruling: The trial judge denied Gideon’s request for a court-appointed attorney because, under Florida law, counsel could only be appointed for a poor defendant charged with a capital offense. The Florida Supreme Court agreed with the trial court and denied all relief.


A prior decision of the Court’s, Betts v. Brady, 316 U.S. 455 (1942), held that the refusal to appoint counsel for an indigent defendant charged with a felony in state court did not necessarily violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court granted Gideon’s petition for a writ of certiorari – that is, agreed to hear Gideon’s case and review the decision of the lower court – in order to determine whether Betts should be reconsidered.


Reversed and remanded. In its opinion, the Court unanimously overruled Betts v. Brady.

Argued: January 15, 1963

Decided: March 18, 1963

Unanimous Decision: Justice Black (who dissented in Betts) wrote the opinion of the court. Justices Douglas, Clark, and Harlan each wrote concurring opinions.


The Court held that the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of counsel is a fundamental right essential to a fair trial and, as such, applies the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In overturning Betts, Justice Black stated that “reason and reflection require us to recognize that in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him.” He further wrote that the “noble ideal” of “fair trials before impartial tribunals in which ever defendant stands equal before the law . . . cannot be realized if the poor man charged with crime has to face his accusers without a lawyer to assist him.”

Learning Targets

I can Investigate the meaning of the Sixth Amendment.

I can identify key Supreme Court Cases preceding and following Gideon v. Wainwright.

I can explore the application of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Bill of Rights.

I can understand that Gideon v. Wainwright required the appointment of counsel for those

I can identify the role attorneys play in the judicial process.


This lesson meets McREL Standards for Civics


Standard18LevelIV(Grades9-12)Benchmarks5,9,10 o Standard29,LevelIV(Grades9-12)Benchmark3

Lesson Plan from Annenberg

NACDL Gideon lesson