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Right To Counsel For Indigent Extended To States


In Gideon v. Wainwright, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously extends to state court trials the rule it established for federal court trials nearly 30 years earlier in Johnson v. Zerbst: The Sixth and 14th Amendments guarantee indigent defendants the right to have an attorney appointed, at the government’s expense, if they are charged with a serious crime. In 1972, in Argersinger v. Hamlin, the Court will extend the Gideon rule to defendants charged with a misdemeanor and facing jail time.