Exam 4 Notes

Exam 4 Notes - Lesson 10: Lawyers Gideon v. Wainwright...

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Lesson 10: Lawyers Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) Facts: Gideon charged in FL state court w/ a felony for breaking and entering. Lacked funds and was unable to hire lawyer to represent him. When he requested the court to appoint an attorney for him, the court refused, stating that it was only obligated to appoint counsel to indigent defendants in capital cases. Gideon defended himself in the trial; he was convicted by a jury and the court sentenced him to five years in a state prison Issue: Did the state court’s failure to appoint counsel for Gideon violate his right to a fair trial and due process of the law as protected by the 6 th and 14 th Amendments? Finding: 9-0, in favor of Gideon – Written by Black Court held that Gideon had a right to be represented by a court appointed attorney Gideon overruled the Betts v. Brady Decision Reasoning: Court found that 6 th Amendment guarantee of counsel was a fundamental right, essential to a fair trial, which should be made applicable to the states thru the Due Process Clause of the 14 th Amendment. Justice Black said it was an “obvious truth” that a fair trial for a poor defendant could not be guaranteed without the assistance of counsel. Court, and Justice Black also said that “lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries.” Effective v. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel (Discussed in class – Different from article) Question of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, such as a Poor Attorney 1. Deficient attorney actions 2. Prejudicial – Did it affect the outcome of the case? 90% will plea bargain, so the majority of people wont deal with it We let lawyers police themselves. Effective Assistance of Counsel Originally, the right to counsel was highly restricted – only those who could afford counsel and those who were being tried in the federal assistance were allowed assistance of counsel. Today – 6 th and 14 th Amendments guarantees that all criminal defendants in state and federal courts are afforded assistance of counsel, regardless of financial situation. Today, the right to counsel is the right to effective assistance of counsel. Standard to be used was decided 20 years ago, for what constituted effective assistance.
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Court found that attorney’s conduct must meet a reasonableness requirement, and must not be prejudicial to the defendant. In evaluating defense counsel’s performance, the courts ultimate inquiry is whether the trial was fair. Purpose of this Paper: Explain the development of the current standards used by courts in evaluating ineffective assistance of counsel, and how the USSC used these standards in Florida v. Nixon – which broadens the range of reasonableness of an attorney’s performance. 1. Facts behind Florida v. Nixon that brought the case before the USSC.
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Exam 4 Notes - Lesson 10: Lawyers Gideon v. Wainwright...

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