Through the Fourteenth Amendment and the incorporation doctrine, the Bill of Rights has slowly been made applicable to state law. However, the whole Bill of Rights is far from being an absolute determinant of state law; in fact, several aspects of this Bill which many regard as vital to human liberties is ineffectual anywhere but in federal courts. Yet throughout the years, the Supreme court of the United States has made several decisions regarding the application of the Bill of Rights to states through the Fourteenth Amendment, and selective incorporation has in fact expanded the liberties of individuals in this country. In Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) the court was dealing with a man convicted of felony, for breaking and entering. Gideon was denied the right to a public lawyer, and being poor, was forced to defend himself. The trial was a catastrophe for Gideon, and without any legal counsel, he was sentenced to five years in jail. The Supreme Court thought Florida was overstepping Gideon’s right to a fair trial granted by the Sixth Amendment,
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This note was uploaded on 06/26/2008 for the course PSCI 130-001 taught by Professor Diiulio during the Fall '08 term at UPenn.