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Argersinger v. Hamlin - Significance

court counsel decision william


Jon Richard Argersinger


Raymond Hamlin, Leon County Sheriff, Florida

Petitioner's Claim

That being sentenced to jail after a trial where he was not represented by counsel violated the Sixth Amendment.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

J. Michael Shea, Bruce S. Rogow

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

George R. Georgieff

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, William O. Douglas (writing for the Court), Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

12 June 1972


Finding that defendants facing a jail sentence of any length have a right to counsel, the Supreme Court by a unanimous decision reversed a lower court's refusal to grant Argersinger's habeas corpus petition.

Related Cases

  • Gideon v Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963).
  • Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 104 (1968).
  • Scott v. Illinois, 440 U.S. 367 (1979).

Further Readings

  • Garcia, Alfredo. The Sixth Amendment in Modern American Jurisprudence: A Critical Perspective. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992.
  • Latzer, Barry. State Constitutional Criminal Law. Deerfield, IL: Clark Boardman Callaghan, 1995.
  • Right to Counsel in Criminal Cases: The Mandate of Argersinger v. Hamlin. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing, 1976.
Benton v. Maryland - Significance, Double Jeopardy [next] [back] Aptheker v. Secretary of State - Significance, The Subversive Activities Control Act, Further Readings

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