NOTICE: DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS, CONNECTICUT JUDICIAL BRANCH OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN CONSOLIDATED INTO ONE COURTHOUSE IN EACH JUDICIAL DISTRICT. THE PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE WILL BE OPEN IN THOSE COURTHOUSES WITH A SKELETON CREW. ONLY ARRAIGNMENTS ARE BEING DOCKETED. ALL OTHER CASES HAVE BEEN CONTINUED BY THE CLERK’S OFFICE. Please go to www.jud.ct.gov for the list of open courthouses or to check for your continuance dates, as you may be unable to contact your lawyer during this time. If you have a question about an arraignment case, please contact the Public Defender office at the open courthouse. If there is an emergency, you can contact the Office of Chief Public Defender at 860 509 6400 OCPD website.

Clarence Earl Gideon
v.
Wainwright
U.S. Supreme Court, 1963

A Landmark in the Law


"If an obscure Florida convict named Clarence Earl Gideon had not sat down in prison with a pencil and paper to write a letter to the Supreme Court, and if the Supreme Court had not taken the trouble to look for merit in that one crude petition among all the bundles of mail it must receive every day, the vast machinery of American law would have gone on functioning undisturbed. 

But Gideon did write that letter. The Court did look into his case and he was retried with the help of a competent defense counsel, found not guilty, and released from prison after two years of punishment for a crime he did not commit, and the whole course of American legal history has been changed."

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy
November 11, 1963

Proclamation by Governor John G. Rowland

Letter from U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman