Gideon V. Wainwright

  • Clarence Earl Gideon was born

    Clarence Earl Gideon was born
    Gideon was born in Hannibal, Missouri, on August 30, 1910 to Virginia Gregory Gideon, and Charles Roscoe Gideon. His father Charles died when he was only 3. Clarence attended school until eighth grade, when he quit school and ran away from home. Clarence lived as a homeless drifter, and by the time he was 16 had compiled a profile of petty crimes.
  • Gideon's First Arrest

    Gideon's First Arrest
    Gideon was arrested in Missouri, and was charged with burglary, robbery, and larceny, and sentenced to 10 years. Gideon was released after only serving 3 years
  • Jail terms

    Throughout a span of about 3 decades, Gideon lived in poverty, serving jail time for various crimes. Once in Leavenworth, Kansas for stealing government property. Once in Missouri for stealing, larceny and escape, and in Texas for theft.
  • Marriages

    In October 1955, Gideon entered his 4th marriage with Ruth Ada Babineaux, after past marriages had been unsuccessful. They had 3 children together in addition to the 3 children Ruth had. All 6 children were later taken away by welfare authorities.
  • Gideon's arrest

    Gideon's arrest
    Gideon was arrested after being suspected of stealing alcohol and money from the Bay Harbor Pool Room in Panama City, Florida, after eye witnesses satated that Gideon had been seen leaving with a bottle of wine and pockets full of change.
  • Bay Harbor Pool Room

    Clarence Gideon was arrested, after money, alcohol, and soda were reportedly stolen from the Bay Harbor Pool Room. Gideon was convicted based on eyewitness accounts of Gideon leaving the building with wine and money
  • Trial of Gideon

    Trial of Gideon
    Gideon was tried on August 4, 1961. At the time of the trial, Gideon was too poor to afford an attorney, and requested one from the court. The court denied him, claiming that the court may only grant an attorney in Federal cases or under special circumstances. Gideon represented himself in court, and was convicted on all charges.
  • Prison Time

    While in prison, Gideon began to study law. and the American Legal System. After spending many hours researching, he came to the conclusion the Judge McCrary violated his constitutional right to counsel under the 6th amendment, and his right to due process. Gideon wrote a 5-page appeal to the Supreme Court
  • Conviction of Gideon

    Conviction of Gideon
    On August 25, 1961 gideon was conicted of breaking and entering with intent to commit petty larceny. Gideon was given the maximum sentence of 5 years by Judge McCrary
  • Gideon's appeal

    Gideon wrote a 5-page petition to the Supreme Court, claiming how he was not given the right to counsel, protected under the 6th Amendment. The supreme court agreed to hear his appeal, in the case first known as Gideon v. Cochran
  • Gideon v. Cochran

    Gideon v. Cochran
    Gideon's case was argued on January 15, 1963. This time Gideon was represented by Abe Fortas. Fortas argued that a man with no training in law could not win a case against a trained lawyer.
  • Gideon v. Wainwright

    The case Gideon v. Cochran was later renamed Gideon v. Wainwright. Gideon won the case, with the court voting unanimously in his favor. This case helped make a landmark decision, and rewrote criminal laws and trials
  • Reversal of Convictions in Florida

    After the trial, many convictions were overturned and over 2,000 convicts in Florida were released based on the unjust trials they received. Gideon however was not released
  • Gideon's retrial

    Gideon was retried for his crimes, but after witness testimonies proved false, he was aquitted of all charges and released from custody.
  • Gideon's death

    Gideon's death
    Clarence Earl Gideon died of cancer at age 61 on January 18, 1972; in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.