Gideon arrested for breaking&entering, couldn't pay for a lawyer and Florida would not appoint one for him, leaving Gideon to defend for himself. He wrote a letter to the Supreme Court while in prison, claiming this was against his 6th Amendment right to council. The Court decided he was right, overruling its 1942 decision of Betts v. Brady. Right to coucil is fundamental right, essential to a fair trial, & made applicable to states through the Due Process Clause. "Lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries."