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Prisoner changes course of American legal history

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Michael H. Lifsey

“In our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, could not be assured a fair trial, unless counsel is provided for him. This seems to us to be an obvious truth.” – Justice Hugo Black, March 18, 1963, in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Gideon vs. Wainwright.
This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Gideon case. This decision set in motion the greatest transformation to the American criminal justice system in history.


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