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The following transcript comes from the monumental 1963 case of Gideon vs. wainwright. The result of this Supreme Court case required state courts to provide legal counsel in the event the defendant cannot afford it. Read the statement and then answer the question that follows:
Now it’s our position that the judges of this country including this Court and all the other judges have a special responsibility concerning this problem. And right along with that is the responsibility of lawyers, because the layman doesn’t know this problem like we do. […]
Just imagine all of the rules that the lawyer has to deal with to represent a client properly, from the moment he is first consulted, in the ordinary criminal case, and then imagine the layman trying to follow that track: find the cases, find the distinctions between one case and another, and applying them. Now, it would be bad enough for us of the profession to say that you could have a fair trial under those circumstances, knowing what we do with regard to the ordinary layman without counsel, but we also know that on the other side of the case, whether it’s the government of the United States, which you are particularly familiar with and I am, who has skilled counsel that try hundreds of cases, or whether it’s the state prosecutor with his vast experience. It is enough of a fiction to be able to claim that the ordinary lawyer, with the greatest diligence and skill, is able to claim that the ordinary lawyer, with the greatest diligence and skill, is able to present fairly a case on behalf of a defendant against this skilled prosecutor that’s had hundreds of cases behind him and understands the reactions of the court., in addition to knowing right off every case that could have a bearing upon the question. But when you take the poor layman and put him against those odds, there isn’t the remotest possibility that you can get a fair trial except by pure accident.