Believe It Or Not, In The United States, Over 80% Of Americans

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Believe it or not, in the United States, over 80% of Americans who may need a lawyer can not afford one. In the United States, the majority of this 80% tend to be minorities, as authors Stephen B. Bright and Sia M. Sanneh state, “Because a major consequence of poverty is often inadequate representation, racial discrimination in the system as a whole—from stops by police, to disparities in charging, to the exclusion of blacks and Latinos from juries, to the severity of sentences—often goes unchallenged and even unremarked upon” (Stephen B. Bright and Sia M. Sanneh). More than fifty years have passed since the Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright, and the United States continues to follow legislative procedures inspired by the 1961…show more content…
Born on August 30, 1910, Clarence Gideon was the son a shoemaker who passed away before his third birthday, and was raised by a strict mom with a boyfriend that Gideon did not get along with. At the young age of fourteen, California was Gideon’s destination after running away from his home in Missouri. It was only after a year when Gideon found himself back in Missouri. Upon his return to Missouri, the text states, “When his mother learned that he was living with his uncle near Hannibal, she had him arrested” (The State Historical). After escaping from jail during the winter, Gideon broke into stores to try and find warm clothes and keep warm, leading to one of his early arrests and conviction of stealing (The State Historical). In his troubled early life, Clarence Gideon frequently found himself in trouble with the law. Gideon managed to cut his time in the prison short, after he was released on parole after a year. Soon after, he found a job at a shoe factory making a good load of money. Gideon was in trouble with the law once again after he lost his job and served more jail time, as the text states, “He was found guilty of robbery, burglary, and larceny and sentenced to ten years in the Missouri State Penitentiary” (The State Historical). Gideon served a long 3 years and four months in prison before being released in January 1932, and during this time, America was in the midst of the Great Depression.

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