Gideon's Trumpet Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Anthony Lewis
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What would happen to the appeals process if Gideon's appeal is approved?

2. In what part of the country does Gideon live?

3. What is Gideon's job in prison?

4. What is Gideon's state of mind as he prepares to go to trial at the Supreme Court?

5. What legislation gives the Supreme Court Justices the freedom to decide which cases they will hear?

Short Essay Questions

1. What compensation does an attorney representing a client in a Supreme Court case get?

2. What major inadequacies does Fortas discover in the transcripts of Gideon's criminal trial?

3. What is so unusual about Gideon's tenacity in preparing his petition to the Supreme Court?

4. Why is it relevant that Fortas wants to know if Gideon is a Negro?

5. What kind of power do the Supreme Court Justices have and how do some of them feel about it?

6. What is the famous 1940s case whose precedent denied Gideon an attorney at his criminal trial?

7. Why is Gideon allowed an attorney for his Supreme Court case and who is the man appointed to represent him?

8. What distinction did Justice Jackson once make regarding the infallibility of Supreme Court decision?

9. What is Gideon's life like after he marries in 1955?

10. What is the nature of Gideon's petition to the Supreme Court?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Define the Betts vs. Brady ruling. Why was it essentially unchallenged for 20 years? What happened to American critical thought in the years 1942-1962 that made it possible for Gideon's petition to be heard at the Supreme Court level? What was happening in the culture of America that almost demanded that Gideon's petition be heard? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

GIDEON'S TRUMPET is a story about succeeding against heavy odds. Explain how fortunate Gideon is to have been alive in 1962 instead of 1942. What ruling had been in place in Florida that would have kept Gideon in prison for his full sentence? Is Gideon even aware of his good fortune? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

Gideon's story unfolds in the early 1960s, a time when the ravages of World War II are not a very distant memory and change is happening in almost every aspect of American life. What effect did the time period in which Gideon lived help his case? Does Gideon understand his place in history now that he has changed court procedures in America? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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