Right to Counsel

1096 Words Mar 20th, 2012 5 Pages
Right to Counsel
Lionel James
CJA/364
December12, 2011
CHARLES MC CLELLAND

Right to Counsel

Introduction: The primary source of the right to counsel is the Sixth Amendment. It states in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to have the Assistance of Counsel for defence. In this article, the development of the right to council will be discussed as well as when the right to council attaches to criminal procedures. The right to self- representation and the role of attorneys as it applies to right to council will be discussed as well.

The development of the right to counsel:

The Supreme Court in 1932 began to define the right to counsel and years later it applied it to the Sixth Amendment right to
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In Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) the Court held that counsel was required by due process in all death penalty trials, in all capital case arraignments, and in cases involving an unsworn defendant who wishes to make a statement. Justice Stanley Reed revealed that the court was divided as to noncapital cases but that several justices felt that the Due Process Clause requires counsel for all persons charged with serious crime.(Zalman,2008). In Griffin v.Illinois (1956) the Court held that under the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause indigent defendants are entitled to a trial transcript in order to facilitate appeals. Justice Black wrote: There can be no equal justice where the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount of money he has. Justice Black’s opinion was probably designed to undermine the Betts special circumstances rule, replacing it with a flat requirement that the state had to provide counsel to indigents.(Zalman,2008). The Supreme Court in Argersinger v.Hamlin (1972) found no constitutional basis for distinguishing between a misdemeanor and a felony for purposes of assigned counsel for indigents. It stated that counsel was required by the Sixth Amendment in misdemeanor cases where a defendant is actually sentenced to imprisonment.(Zalman,2008).

The Right to Counsel Attach:

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