OCPD: Clarence Earl Gideon

 Clarence Earl Gideon
U.S. Supreme Court, 1963

A Landmark in the Law

Story of Clarence Earl Gideon

Gideon's Legacy In Connecticut

Clarence Gideon Internet Links

Constitutional Right to Counsel

Connecticut as a Pioneer

"If an obscure Florida convict named Clarence Earl Gideon had not sat down in prison with a pencil and paper to write a letter to the Supreme Court, and if the Supreme Court had not taken the trouble to look for merit in that one crude petition among all the bundles of mail it must receive every day, the vast machinery of American law would have gone on functioning undisturbed. 

But Gideon did write that letter. The Court did look into his case and he was retried with the help of a competent defense counsel, found not guilty, and released from prison after two years of punishment for a crime he did not commit, and the whole course of American legal history has been changed."

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy
November 11, 1963

Proclamation by
 Governor John G. Rowland

(pdf format 368kb)

Letter from
 U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman
(pdf format 25kb)

Content Last Modified on 5/20/2011 2:39:39 PM