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We Support Gideon because it is Fair
By Peter Loge
Like most boys around my age (I’m in my late 30s) I learned about Gideon
v. Wainwright long after I learned what it does. As a boy “of a certain
age” who never went to law school, my belief in the issues hasn’t changed much.
For millions of us, Gideon and Miranda v. Arizona come
together when the cops nail the bad guy who thought he’d gotten away with the
perfect crime, throw him onto the hood of the car, cuff him and read him his
rights. Gideon is what happens right before the music and clever banter
announcing that all is well in Los Angeles/San Francisco/New York for another
week. It is the manifestation of the good guys, a sentence that serves as a
metaphor for order and justice. For an hour, cop shows articulate a struggle
between an orderly and just system, and individual points of disruption and
anarchy. In the end (at least in the shows I like), order and the system win.
That system, ultimately, is our courts and judicial process — thugs are told to
“tell it to the j
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