Monday, March 13, 2023

Schuyler County: Gideon's Day Celebration is March 17

The Schuyler County Public Defender's Office is holding an Open House on Friday, March 17th from 2pm to 4pm. It will be celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision in Gideon v. Wainwright:
Gideon v. Wainwright is a landmark case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 18, 1963, that the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires U.S. states to provide attorneys to criminal defendants who are unable to afford their own.

Clarence E. Gideon was charged with felony breaking and entering in a Florida state court. He requested an attorney, but the judge denied him because it was not a capital case. With only an 8th grade education, he represented himself and was convicted after a trial. He appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court who ruled the 6th Amendment requires the state to provide an attorney because he could not afford one. Upon retrial Mr. Gideon was acquitted by the jury after only an hour of deliberation.

Please stop by to enjoy some treats, talk with our staff, and learn more about the important role public defenders and defense attorneys have in our criminal justice system and the service they provide to our community as a whole.