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Scott v. Illinois


Scott v. Illinois marked a stepping back from the trend established by the Court in the 1930s to expand the right of the accused to legal counsel under the Sixth Amendment. The ruling narrowed the scope of Argersinger v. Hamlin, which had guaranteed state appointed counsel for misdemeanor defendants facing possible prison sentences, by mandating appointment of counsel only in cases where a sentence of imprisonment was sought. Practically, the ruling enabled the state to forgo appointment of counsel in cases where the prosecution did not seek a prison sentence for the accused.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Scott v. Illinois - Significance, An Open-and-shut Case?, Legal Precedents, Interpreting Argersinger, Impact