Evolution of the Right to Counsel, Expansion of the 6th Amendment

The Sixth Amendment was ratified in 1789. The provision that gives rise to the section of the Miranda warnings advising someone under arrest of his right to an attorney is as follows:



In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

For 143 years that was generally understood to allow a defendant to employ a lawyer in his defense. The state was not required to provide counsel for an indigent defendant. There was no belief that someone was entitled to a competent lawyer. In 1932, the understanding of that Sixth Amendment pr