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Materials and footage commemorating the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright

March 14, 2013

Nearly 50 years ago, on March 18, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that everyone charged with a felony offense had the Constitutional right to a lawyer. No longer would any other criminal defendant face a possible jail sentence without the help of an effective lawyer.

In observance of the 50th anniversary of the landmark case of Gideon v. Wainwright, the American Bar Association Section of Litigation is pleased to present free materials and other resources to educate, inform and commemorate this historic event. Included as part of the materials is video of a recent program featuring rare, vintage video footage of Clarence Gideon himself. The video also features a roundtable discussion moderated by Joanne A. Epps, Dean of Temple Beasley School of Law, and include panelists Professor Bruce Jacob, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Criminal law at Stetson Law School, who argued the case 50 years ago in the United States Supreme Court for the State of Florida and the Honorable Carlos Martinez, a public defender for the 11th Judicial Circuit in Florida (Miami-Dade County) who describes the reality of public defender work today. In addition, Anthony Graves, an exonerated death row prisoner, tells his compelling and heartbreaking story of spending 18 years in prison and nearly being executed for a crime he did not commit.

Click here to review the page and browse through the video documentary, case facts, oral arguments, the decision, articles and other resources.

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