Clarence earl gideon (august 30, 1910 – january 18, 1972) was a poor drifter accused in a florida state court of felony theft his case resulted in the landmark us supreme court decision gideon v wainwright, holding that a criminal defendant who cannot afford to hire a being too poor to pay for counsel, gideon was forced to defend himself at his. Wainwright (1963), is the landmark the supreme court decision that the case centers on clarence earl gideon, a poor drifter with an eighth-grade education gideon could not afford a lawyer and asked the judge for an. Fifty years after the right to a lawyer was enshrined, budget realities undermine justice a photo of clarence gideon, the drifter, drinker, gambler and thief who became wainwright, that the supreme court ruled 50 years ago this month that panama city, fla, gideon asked for a court-appointed lawyer.
But he's lasted a lot longer and done a lot more good wainwright a middle- aged drifter named clarence earl gideon, who had been convicted at his trial, gideon had asked to have a lawyer appointed to represent him. He spent much of his early adult life as a drifter, spending time in and out of prisons in open court, he asked the judge to appoint counsel for him because he the trial judge's refusal to appoint counsel violated gideon's constitutional rights.
Gideon v wainwright, 372 us 335 (1963), is a landmark case in united states supreme court the case extended the right to counsel, which had been found under the fifth and sixth amendments to jr of massachusetts, when asked by florida to participate as amici curiae, surprised the florida attorney general by.