The Champion

January/February 2003 , Page 13 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

An Update: Reflections on the Fortieth Anniversary of Gideon

By Abe Krash

Five years ago, on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Gideon v. Wainwright, I wrote the feature accompanying this essay, describing the contributions to the decision by each of its two principal architects: Abe Fortas, counsel appointed by the Supreme Court to represent Clarence Earl Gideon in his appeal to the High Court, and Justice Hugo Black, the author of the Court’s opinion. Now, on the 40th anniversary of the decision, I believe we should focus on the ways in which the great principle of Gideon — the constitutional right of every accused person to the assistance of counsel — has not been fulfilled, and to determine on a course of action to remedy the situation. 

It did not become apparent until some years after the Gideon decision that it is insufficient to guarantee, in principle, that an accused person has a lawyer at his side. The critical questions are (i) whether that lawyer is qualified to try a criminal case, (ii)

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us