Supreme Court requires states to provide counsel for indigent defendants

On March 18, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court in Gideon v. Wainwright held that the Constitution requires states to provide counsel for indigent criminal defendants. For a unanimous Court, Justice Hugo Black wrote, "any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him." Counsel had been required for indigent federal defendants since 1938.

Read a history of the Right to Counsel from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

Gandhi sentenced for sedition after civil disobedience campaign

On March 18, 1922, a court in British-ruled India sentenced Mohandas Gandhi to six years in prison for sedition in connection with his civil disobedience campaign for Indian home rule.

Read Gandhi's famous statement to the trial court. Gandhi served two years of his sentence and was then released.

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