Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On this day

On March 18, ...
... 1963 (45 years ago today), the U.S. Supreme Court held in Gideon v. Wainwright that the guarantee "to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence," set forth in the 6th Amendment, was a requirement of fundamental fairness that, by dint of the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause, requires states within the United States to give poor defendants paid attorneys. As legal journalist Anthony Lewis related in his masterful book, Gideon's Trumpet (1964), the case began with the handwritten petition at right, which Clarence Earl Gideon sent to the country's highest Court from the Florida prison where he was serving a 5-year sentence for stealing a few dollars and a few drinks.
... 1992, voters in South Africa "backed an overwhelming mandate for political reforms to end apartheid and create a power-sharing multi-racial government." At the time, of course, the electorate was all-white. The vote of 68.6% in favor of the referendum paved the way for transition to a post-apartheid Republic of South Africa.

1 comment:

Laser said...

It is nice to hear that at least once or so, the gavel of justice did the right thing.