Friday, July 15, 2016

At the park

 Around mid-morning, I went to the park near the YMCA. My plan was to read a great book that I got from the library. I didn't want to stay in my apartment reading, because it was just too gorgeous a day to remain inside. I wanted to be outside experiencing Mother Nature!

The book that I am reading is about the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright [1963]. That unanimous decision determined that defendants facing significant jail time have the constitutional right to a free attorney if they cannot afford their own. The book is named, "Chasing Gideon" by Karen Houppert.

Gideon's Trumpet
I came across this book after watching a movie named, "Gideon's Trumpet". That movie is about the true life experience of Clarence Earl Gideon who was imprisoned for twenty-seven years for a crime that he did not commit.

While Clarence Gideon was serving his sentence in a Florida prison, he taught himself enough law to enable him to mail a five-page petition (petition for writ of certiorari) to the Supreme Court of the United States asking the nine justices to consider his complaint.

That a man in prison with no legal training was able to prepare such a writ and be granted an appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court is absolutely astounding!

Right to have an attorney
You have no doubt heard many times on TV, in shows such as "Law and Order", the following words:

"You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you."

This right came about because of one man having the determination to pursue his justice, against all odds. Clarence Earl Gideon. Amazing!

George in the park