Clarence Earl Gideon (August 30, 1910 – January 18, 1972) was a poor drifter accused in a Florida state court of felony theft. His case resulted in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright, holding that a criminal defendant who cannot afford to hire a lawyer must be provided with a lawyer at no cost. At Gideon's first trial, he represented himself, and he was convicted. After the Supreme Court ruled that the state had to provide defense counsel for the indigent, Florida retrieved Gideon. At his second trial, which took place in August 1963 with a lawyer representing him and bringing out for the jury the weaknesses in the prosecution's case, Gideon was acquitted.