Case Briefs- Criminal Law

Desire to avoid the death penalty alone is

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Unformatted text preview: ovide an indigent defendant with an attorney is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (”Constitution”). The state Court informed Gideon that under Florida law only indigent clients charged with capital offenses are entitled to court appointed counsel. Issue. Whether the Sixth Amendment constitutional requirement that indigent defendants be appointed counsel is so fundamental and essential to a fair trial that it is made obligatory on the states by the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution? Held. The right to counsel is a fundamental right essential to a fair trial and due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires due process of law for the deprivation of liberty just as equally as it does for deprival of life. Accordingly, there cannot be a constitutional distinction in the quality of the process based merely upon the sanction to be imposed. Rationale: Without the assistance of counsel “though he be not guilty, he faces the danger of conviction because he does not know how to establish his innocence.” Sixth Amendment requires a state to provide defense lawyers if necessary because such lawyers are essential to a "fair trial." Observed Justice Black, "That government hires lawyers to prosecute and defendants who have the money hire lawyers to defend are the strongest indications of the widespread belief that lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries." The Court noted that America's criminal justice system is "adversarial," meaning that the state assumes and uses its resources to establish the defendant's guilt before the defendant is proven guilty in a court of law. Because, in this adversarial system, "even the intelligent and educated layman has small and sometimes no skill in the science of law," the Court easily concluded that the presence of defense counsel is "fundamental and essential to fair trials" in the United States. Miranda v. Arizona (Miranda Rights) The Supreme Court, in a 5- 4 decision written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, ruled that the prosecution could not introduce Miranda's confession as evidence in a criminal trial because the police had failed to first inform Miranda of his right to an attorney and agains...
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This document was uploaded on 03/06/2014 for the course POLISCI 122 at Stanford.

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