Tagged: Gideon v. Wainwright

Commemorating Gideon’s 50th Anniversary

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, in which it recognized that the right to counsel is a fundamental right that is binding on the states.  As the many posts and discussions honoring the day reveal, it’s probably appropriate to label the occasion a bittersweet one:  sweet, because the decision was so obviously right, but bitter because of the lost promise of what might have been.  We are better off with the right to counsel, without doubt; but resources, volume, and politics, among other factors, have created problems with the quality of counsel received by many.