The question was "Why is the right to counsel a basic civil right?" This question was answered in the case of Gideon v Wainwright. There was a film created about the case talking about due process.
The film begins in Florida with the breaking into and robbing of a poolroom. The officer pulls up and sees a young man by the name of Lester wade standing by the phone booth. He calls Lester Wade over to ask what he is doing there and whether he saw any thing happen. Lester Wade says that he saw Earl Gideon inside from across the street and then walked over to the pay phone with a bottle of wine and then gets into a cab and drive off. When the poolroom was searched to see what was missing and if anything was broken the owner said that there were cases of wine and beer missing and about fifteen dollars worth of coins were stolen from the jukebox.
Earl Gideon was then found later that morning in the diner with both pockets full of change. He was then arrested and brought to the county jail till his trial.
Before you automatically go and assume that Earl Gideon did indeed rob the poolroom, you have to think about a few things. First of all were did all of the wine and beer go. The owner of the poolroom said that there were cases of wine and beer missing. He couldn't have just stuffed that into his pockets with all of the change. Another thing is that he could have gotten all of that change from somewhere other than the poolroom. At no time does the officer that arrests Gideon ask him where he got all of the change, he just assumes that Gideon took it...