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Important People

Clarence E. Gideon

Shortly after a burglary occurred, at the Bay Harbor Pool Room located in Panama City, Florida, police found this man nearby with a pint of wine and some change in his pockets. He was arrested on the spot. Clarence could not afford an attorney, and asked for one. He was denied by the judge and had to defend himself, and attempted to do so without any background in law. The court quickly found Gideon guilty and sentenced him to prison. But, rather than withering away in prison, Gideon wrote a letter to the Supreme Court, appealing the judge's decision to give him a lawyer. The Supreme Court favored in Gideon's request and appointed him a lawyer.

Louie L. Wainwright


Being the Secretary of the Florida Division of Corrections, he was named the respondent to Clarence Gideon's case.

Robert McCrary


Judge Robert McCrary was the man who denied Clarence E. Gideon his attorney, violating the 6th amendment.

Abe Fortas

Before becoming a Supreme Court Justice, Abe Fortas was appointed to represent Clarence E. Gideon after Gideon had been told that he could not have a lawyer. Fortas helped Gideon be acquitted of his charges of robbery and petty larceny.

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