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Blog Directory Del's Perspective: The Sixth Amendment slowly and painfully disappears

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Sixth Amendment slowly and painfully disappears

The famous Gideon v. Wainwright supreme court case is nearing its 50th anniversary and now, sadly, it is not a cause for celebration, instead it is a time for sorrow. Why is that? It has become obvious that state govts have gone out of their individual way to deny counsel for those accused of felonies.

Now, with all the creative incentive they can muster, state govts have established criteria that makes it almost impossible for lower income citizens to qualify for counsel under the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Abe Fortas, Clarence Gideon's lawyer, would be ranting before the supremes today if he could open his casket. From six feet below he could see the disingenuous of it all and demand that the supremes put an immediate stop to such silly rules that deny counsel to the accused should h/she own a car of $5000.00 value, or if h/her home is valued over $20,000, or if he is gainfully employed (as if he/she were making money while they sit in the clink), and the list goes on and on.

So why the whine over a bunch of losers who just happened to arrested? Let's see: false arrest, racial profiling, arrest quotas. More important is the fact that numerous states are thumbing their noses at the supremes and the 6th Amendment. The caveat from law enforcement appears to be: the only amendment with weight is the 10th.

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