On the 50th Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Gideon v. Wainwright decision, which held that the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees to every criminal defendant in a felony trial the right to a lawyer. But is that right really effective today? Two pieces arguing that the answer to that question is “not so much”:

“How Americans Lost the Right to Counsel, 50 Years After ‘Gideon’” by Andrew Cohen writing in The Atlantic.

“Simon Waxman on ‘Chasing Gideon’; Pleading Out: America’s Broken Public Defense System” in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

The Supreme Court Decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963)