Gideon's Trumpet (1980 TV Movie)
Abe Fortas: [discussing a person's right to have an adequate defense during a trial] What I'd like to say to the Court is: "Let's not talk; let's go down there and watch one of these fellows try to defend themselves".
Abe Fortas: [summarizing his argument before the Supreme Court] I think Betts vs. Brady was wrong when it was decided. I think time has made that clear. And I think that the time has come that the correct rule, the civilized rule, the rule of individualism, the rule of due process must be stated by this Court.
James Fitzpatrick: [referring to Jacob, who is about to argue before the Supreme Court for the very first time] Don't go feeling sorry for the poor son-of-a-bitch until we've won.
Chief Justice: [final lines]
[reading Robert Kennedy's decision]
Chief Justice: 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 at the merits 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; he was re-tried with the help of 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 legal history has been changed.