Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) discussed the right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment and the impact of the Gideon v. Wainwright Supreme Court Case.
The Sixth Amendment guaranteed the right to legal counsel in criminal cases. In Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that an attorney must be provided if the defendant cannot afford one. Based on this decision, this right to an attorney was provided to all people accused of crimes regardless of income. It also strengthened the need for public defenders. This lesson provides an overview of the Gideon v. Wainwright case and the current obstacles that the public defender system faces.
Before starting class, have the students answer the following question. Review the students' answers.
Either review the following vocabulary words or have the students look up and define each of the following vocabulary words that will be referenced in the lesson.
As a class, view the following video explaining the Sixth Amendment and the Gideon. Wainwright case. Have the students answer the questions listed below.
Video Clip: The Sixth Amendment and Gideon v. Wainwright (1:19)
Either individually or as a class, have the students view the video clips below and use the handout (Google Doc) to take notes. Review the notes with the class after the students complete the assignment.
Video Clip: The Impact of Gideon v. Wainwright (2:44)
Video Clip: Miranda v. Arizona and the Right to Counsel (2:05)
Video Clip: The Right to Counsel and the Modern Public Defender System (4:10)
Video Clip: Technology and the Right to Counsel (2:47)
Video Clip: Obstacles to the Right to Counsel (3:52)
After viewing the videos, have the students break into small groups and discuss the following prompt.
Have the students come up with a plan for how to address the challenges facing the public defender system. Encourage them to include consequences and drawbacks of this proposal.
Respond to the writing prompt, presented in the style of the SCOTUS Comparison Question component of the redesigned AP Government and Politics exam.