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Criminal Justice in the Film “Gideon’s Trumpet” Essay


Today, the structure of the legal system tends to cover and cherish rights and freedoms of every individual. It entirely complies with the Constitution of the United States of America and supports the ideas of tolerance and democracy. Nonetheless, the situation was different in the recent past, as some rights were not carefully described and stated in the main law of the country. Watching the movie Gideon’s Trumpet helped understand that the rights of criminals were not always respected.

For example, Gideon was accused twice of the same crime, and his right to have a public lawyer was not satisfied. Thus, Gideon was not ready to surrender, and he wrote a letter to the Supreme Court to review his case and precisely described the situation in detail. The case displayed in the movie could be considered as highly important, as Gideon’s complaint changed the whole American judicial system and increased the strength of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments while making judges highly attentive to specifics of different cases.

In the first place, as it was mentioned earlier, Gideon requested a public defender, as this right was not considered during the first trial. As a result, he had to defend himself, and due to the lack of arguments, was imprisoned. Nonetheless, sending a request to the Supreme Court revolutionized the entire legal system. For example, this case required to review the Sixth Amendment and expand its coverage.

With the help of the Fourteenth Amendment, every individual accused of any type of crime was given a right to have a lawyer under the Sixth Amendment. It could be said that this change underlined the importance of equality, as in the context of the Sixth Amendment, race, gender, social status, and ethnicity were disregarded. These modifications of the Sixth Amendment can be discovered as the major consequences of Gideon’s desire to fight for justice and spending several hours researching his rights and freedoms.

Nonetheless, changes to the Sixth Amendment were not the only consequences of this case. For example, in his letter, Gideon also claimed that his rights stated in the Fifth Amendment were also violated, as two trials took place for the same crime. It could be said that the Supreme Court considered his statements as rational. As a consequence, more changes to the Fourteenth Amendment were introduced, and they increased the strength of the Fifth Amendment by protecting individuals from the similar cases. In this instance, it is evident that apart from the desire of Gideon to avoid punishment, he was able to have a positive impact on the overall judicial system and improve the flow of its processes by increasing the importance of rights stated in the Sixth Amendment.

In the end, one cannot underestimate the importance of Gideon’s case. This movie helps understand that apart from committing different kinds of crimes, every individual has constitutional rights that have to be respected. At the same time, it requires judges to review every case individually while considering all evidence and freedoms. It could be said that Gideon helped develop an entirely new framework of the legal system, increase the importance of the Amendments, freedoms, and rights during trials, and underline the values of justice and tolerance in the United States of America. Based on these findings, it is apparent that Gideon’s case is highly important, as it helps see the changes that took place with the judicial system in the recent past.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 13). Criminal Justice in the Film "Gideon’s Trumpet". Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/criminal-justice-in-the-film-gideons-trumpet/

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"Criminal Justice in the Film "Gideon’s Trumpet"." IvyPanda, 13 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/criminal-justice-in-the-film-gideons-trumpet/.

1. IvyPanda. "Criminal Justice in the Film "Gideon’s Trumpet"." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/criminal-justice-in-the-film-gideons-trumpet/.


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IvyPanda. "Criminal Justice in the Film "Gideon’s Trumpet"." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/criminal-justice-in-the-film-gideons-trumpet/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Criminal Justice in the Film "Gideon’s Trumpet"." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/criminal-justice-in-the-film-gideons-trumpet/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Criminal Justice in the Film "Gideon’s Trumpet"'. 13 September.

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