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The story of the right to counsel in criminal cases comprises a
fascinating chapter in the annals of Anglo-American jurisprudence.
One might think that the basic principles would be reasonably
clear. Our whole concept of law enforcement as an accusatory
process, our theory of the trial as a contest staged before judge
and jury, our traditional concern test a powerful state overwhelm
an isolated citizen, our feeling for the worth and indeed the salvation
of the individual human being - to say nothing of the complexities
of criminal law and procedure - all would seem to demand
that the accused in a criminal case always and at all times
be furnished with the aid of counsel. How else can the accused play
his allotted role in the criminal process? How else can the protections
theoretically accorded to the individual be realized in practice?
Is not the spectacle of an accused trying to hold up his end
of the balance, alone and unaided, an obvious mockery of the whole
criminal process?

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