Charles Riccio's Internet Site

April 18, 2009

Burglary in the Poolroom – The Constitutional Right to Counsel – The Clarence Gideon Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Charles @ 4:01 pm

In 1961, the poolroom in Bay Harbor, Florida was just a sad and dreary stopping place on the road to nowhere. It promised nothing more than an hour or two of escape from the sad and dreary lives of its patrons by providing a little entertainment in the form of a game of pool and a bottle of beer.

One morning, the owner of the poolroom unlocked the door, expecting nothing more than another day of the sound of clicking pool balls, the exchange of small amounts of money won and lost, and calls for “another beer.” Ira Strickland had no way of knowing he had opened the door to the beginning of a series of events which would lead eventually to the Supreme Court of the United States, and which would change forever the lives of countless Americans.

During the night, the poolroom had been broken into. There was the smashed window and there were the rifled vending machines. And a quick inventory disclosed that some beer and wine was missing. Certainly not a major felony. A crime like thousands of others reported to the police every day. A crime that would be solved quickly and easily because there was a witness.

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