Aspect of the Right to Counsel
Right to counsel is the right of a person to have the assistance of a lawyer in their defense. A defendant who cannot afford right, are to be paid for by the government, which has the responsibility of providing them with legal representation. It is a right in the sixth amendment to the United States Constitution, which requires all criminals to have access to assistance of the counsel. Currently, the statutory provision provides for the appointment of counsel in felony cases if the defendant requests for a lawyer and makes an affidavit asserting the inability to employ counsel (Taylor, 2004). l. In Gideon versus Wainright case, Gideon was denied the right to counsel. Gideon had charges in State court of Florida for breaking a poolroom with intentions to commit a felony. Appearing in court without funds he requested the court to appoint counsel for him. His request was not accepted.
There have been many changes in the right to counsel. Declining Gideon’s counsel in the formulation of the right to counsel was an unfair trial. Ever since Gideon vs. Wainright case, the court adopted rules that established the requirement of a counsel regardless of the circumstances. On appeal to the Supreme Court, Abe Fortas represented Gideon. Through his attorney, Gideon concluded the significance of the right to counsel.
The court agreed to base on the idea that it would be unfair for a poor man to face criminal charge without the assistance of a lawyer. The need for more lawyers led to the training of criminal defense to allow a fair trial in courts (Wroble, 2009). . The right to counsel extended to minor cases. The state and local government use various systems to reimburse private attorneys to represent individual defendants. Although there has been a considerable improvement in the right to counsel, the quality of cases varies across countries.
Many lawyers lack adequate funding from the government thus difficult to meet the legal obligations of their clients. Mental illness is also a challenge to achieving fairness and justice. Gideon’s case has changed criminal justice in America profoundly. After his ruling, the right to counsel ensures all individuals have capable attorneys.
Commencement of Proceedings
The right to counsel in the criminal prosecution is a substantial right of the defendant. The government sometimes does not fulfill its responsibility of availing counsels to the accused who cannot afford that right. People have the right to counsel after the commencement of their case. Under the sixth amendment of the United States, for a person accused of offense, a criminal case begins when there are proceedings against the defendant (Lippmann, 2011) a procedure initiation takes place after charging a person formally and taking him before the magistrate. Thus, the right to counsel attaches when an investigation process becomes accusatory and focuses on the accused person.
An individual also gets the right to counsel during a pretrial confrontation between the defendant and the prosecution. The counsel’s presence is necessary to preserve the rights of the accused. It is in the case where the attorney could avoid prejudice to the defendant.
In addition, a defendant is entitled to counsel at their arraignment. An arraignment is a crucial stage of proceedings against a person. The defendant at this point pleads to the charges in his information before the magistrate. The rights also attach the defendants to change their plea after an arraignment.
Besides, a defendant has the right to legal representation to a preliminary hearing. This hearing determines the situations of the crime the defendant committed.
The right to counsel can also apply retroactively. If the accused have been denied right to counsel at a critical stage of prior proceedings, they may be given post-conviction relief based on the denial. However, the conviction may not be admitted in subsequent prosecutions if there was the refusal of a right to counsel in previous proceedings.
After the conviction of a crime, the defendant is entitled to counsel at probation, revocation proceedings, extradition proceedings all appellate proceedings and habeas corpus.
The Role of Attorney in Gideon Vs Weeknight
An attorney is paramount in any case. Their responsibilities and duties vary depending on the nature and charges of situations in this case; the attorney had the following responsibilities to Gideon in his case. First, the attorney had the responsibility of advising Gideon of his rights to counsel. Besides, he had to explain the expectations at different stages of his case. He also played a significant role in ensuring that Gideon’s constitutional rights are not violated through the law enforcement and court proceedings. Gideon had the rights to a legal representation that was accomplished when Abe Fortas represented him. Another crucial role is negotiating. Gideon’s attorney had a role in negotiating a plea bargain with the United States local and state government on his behalf.
Bottom of Form
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Top of Form
Lippman, M. R. (2011). Criminal procedure. Los Angeles: Sage.
Taylor, J. B. (2004). The right to counsel and privilege against self-incrimination: Rights and liberties under the law. Santa Barbara, Calif. [u.a.: ABC-CLIO.
Wroble, L. A. (2009). The right to counsel: From Gideon v. Wainwright to Gideon’s trumpet. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers.
Bottom of Form