Synopsis by Sarah Ing
Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark hosts a review of a historic judicial process in Supreme Court Decisions That Changed the Nation: Gideon vs. Wainwright. These days, the right of the accused to use a court-appointed lawyer is a given. But, in 1963, that fact wasn't so clear. It took the appeal of an alleged robber for the court to clarify the language of the 14th Amendment. After declaring that due process included an attorney for felony and capital cases, the Supreme Court set an important precedent that guaranteed a fair trial for most future defendants.