SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
THE object of this study has been to examine the meaning and the scope of the right to counsel in federal and state courts under the various forms of law applicable to each. Whether or not a defendant in a criminal proceeding should have the right to retain counsel and whether or not he should have the right to receive the assistance of appointed counsel are ethical or philosophical questions which can be answered readily. But whether or not a defendant actually enjoys these rights under the existing rules of law is a question that raises issues fraught with complications and, as should be evident by now, permits only an answer replete with equivocations and conditions. The substantial body of case law testifies that the counsel problem is more than an academic one. It has vexed the United States Supreme Court more than many of seemingly greater magnitude.
The history of the right to counsel, though lacking in details, has exhibited certain characteristics which can be described. In England the government for a long period was unwilling to sanction assistance for one charged with serious violations of its laws, although in misdemeanor and private cases where the state's interest was slight or nonexistent, a full defense by counsel furnished by the accused was permitted from an early date. With the exception of treason cases, in which counsel was not only allowed but, after 1695, could be appointed if the defendant were indigent, counsel could not appear as a matter of right in English felony cases until a statute of 1836 made full representation by retained counsel possible. It is clear, moreover, that trial judges, who in general had allowed defendants to appear for the purpose of arguing some points of law from early in the eighteenth century, broadened their interpretation of what con-