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Understanding the Story of “Gideon’s Trumpet”

The book entitled “Gideon’s Trumpet” is a full-length tale that is based on a true story, which is written by a prominent American liberal and intellectual writer named Anthony Lewis. The book basically tells about the true-to-life legal case narrative of two main protagonists namely Gideon, a native of Florida, and Wainwright, the secretary of Florida Department of Corrections, which is broadly regarded to be one of the landmark cases in the history of United States Supreme Court. It entails significant influences in the overall judicial process of the United States of America, more specifically in criminal cases (Lewis).

This book has found its excellence not in depicting a classic story about legal court proceedings but also in handling and interpreting its main narrative according to the actual happenings in Gideon’s tale. In a sense, it can be said that the book, which tells about the story of Clarence Earl Gideon and his legal case of being accused in committing the crime of larceny, has showed decency and accuracy in its interpretation of the said landmark case in the history of United States Judicial System.

Thus, the enlightenment of the book regarding Gideon’s Trumpet has handled the subject in a conservative approach wherein the depiction and interpretation of the main story is seen to have been truthful and fair as to the real happenings of Gideon’s legal case story. As the main character in the book, Clarence Earl Gideon is an underprivileged and bad-tempered handyman from Florida who was arrested for a crime of larceny in 1961 (Lewis).

With no chance and no capability of affording a lawyer in defending and representing his side in the court hearing, Gideon, deprived with the free legal assistance from the Florida court, is punished to spend five years in the state prison. (Lewis). This kind of treatment and deprivation of law, which Earl Clarence Gideon has received from the Florida judicial system, draws greater attention to the public and local media, more especially where such act of court against Gideon is a clear violation to the Fourteenth Amendment made by the highest office in the United States Judicial System.

Thus, as Gideon refuses to give up for something that he fights and believes for, despite of his condition behind the bars of Florida state prison, the U. S. Supreme Court is able to receive his messages and plea for equal justice. Hence, the United States Supreme Court has made an immediate landmark resolution in response of Gideon’s appeal and with the unified goal modifying the entire U. S. Judicial System. The highest court has legally recognized a resolution that would render free legal representation for the people accused of a crime in the United States, more especially among those who can not afford a lawyer to defend their side.

Gideon’s Story as a Landmark Case in the History In a sense, it can be said that one of the main reasons as to why the case of Clarence Earl Gideon, who is being accused and sentenced of committing the criminal act of larceny, a landmark case in the entire history of United States judicial court system, is the fact that the preliminary actions of the Florida state court against Gideon have clearly violated the human rights of having a fair and equal chance to obtain legal justice by means of defending and representing their side through a legal counsel before the legal court proceeding.

In addition to this, this tale of Gideon could also be regarded as a landmark case mainly due to the failure and coercion of the Florida Court System in rendering the accused, Clarence Earl Gideon, the right to have a legal representative despite of his financial condition to be able to defend his side before the court hearing. Thus, Gideon’s case is an important one in the U. S.

judicial history as it is often cited as an inspirational story that have made the highest judicial office in the United States and/or the Supreme Court to make an amendment and come up with a firm and significant decision to resolve the cases of injustices across the American country. Moreover, Gideon’s unyielding and inspiring effort to fight for what he believe is right, despite of all the difficulties and being imprisoned behind the bars, is a major factor that made his story a significant case in the judicial history of the United States.

The US Court System: Federal and State Courts In the United States of America, there is a court system which is composed of two different subdivisions namely the federal and state courts that has corresponding differences that are to be considered in understanding the main functions of the two. In general, the federal courts has within its jurisdiction the addressing of issues that are brought before it regarding the federal laws and the US Constitution and also includes money disputes with value exceeding $75,000 (Bergman & Bergman-Barrett 19).

On the other hand, the state courts function to address issues that are not within the powers of the federal courts such as cases involving state laws and state constitutions that could include personal obligations, family cases, and contracts (Bergman & Bergman-Barrett 19). There are different levels within the said court system which includes the district courts, courts of appeal, and the US Supreme Court for the federal court system (Bergman & Bergman-Barrett 19).

On the other hand, there are a variety of names for the first level in state court systems, the second is the court of appeal, and the last is the Supreme Court with the exception for New York where the highest is called the Appellate Division (Bergman & Bergman-Barrett 19). In general, the first level of the courts take the role of hearing the trials and the preceding appeals are made in the second and third levels with their own specific requirements.

Works Cited Bergman, P. and Bergman-Barrett, S. Represent yourself in court. Berkeley, CA: Nolo, 2008. Lewis, Anthony. Gideon’s Trumpet. New York City: Vintage Books, 1966 The Edgar Awards. MysteryNet and Newfront Productions, Inc. 24 February 2009 <http://www. mysterynet. com/edgars/previous/factcrime. shtml>

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