September/October 2013
Constitution Day 2013: The ongoing impact of Gideon v. Wainwright

On September 17, 2013, students poured into St. Louis’ Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse to take part in the Missouri Bar Constitution Day Program hosted by the Missouri Bar and HEC-TV, St. Louis’ television station dedicated to education. TV cameras broadcast the event live in two programs as panel members discussed the effect of Gideon v. Wainwright on the justice system in this country and in Missouri.

The program, entitled “The Ongoing Impact of Gideon v. Wainwright,” commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court case that established a defendant’s fundamental right, pursuant to the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to legal counsel in a criminal trial and to court-appointed legal counsel if the defendant cannot afford to hire an attorney.

Panel members of the 10:00 a.m. program were Judge Henry E. Autrey, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri; Richard Callahan, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri; and Lee Lawless, Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Panel members of the 1:00 p.m. program were Judge E. Richard Webber, Senior U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri; Bevy Beimdiek, Capital Attorney for the Missouri State Public Defender’s Office; and Eric Zahnd, President of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and Prosecutor of Platte County, Missouri. HEC-TV’s Tim Gore moderated the panels. Participants from area high schools listened to the panel of experts and submitted their own questions and comments to the panel. In addition, schools from other locations in Missouri as well as schools in Texas, Ohio, New York, Oklahoma, and Florida joined the conversation via the web or videoconference.

The complete 1:00 program is available for streaming on HEC-TV's website. Clips from the 10 a.m. show, along with the Missouri Bar Study Guide created on this topic, and other educational resources are on the website at this page.