CRIMINAL PROCEDURE II OUTLINE
Right to Counsel – Scope of the Right
Johnson v. Zerbst (1938). ISSUE: DOES THE 6TH AMD REQUIRE THE APPTMT. OF COUNSEL?
NO. Held that the 6th AMD required the appointment of counsel in all federal criminal cases if the accused cannot afford an attorney, so long as the right is not waived. (But, didn’t extend this right to state cases).
Betts v. Brady (1942). ISSUE: DOES AN INDIGENT HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY?
Court finds that there is no 14th AMD extension of the 6th AMD to the states.
This means no right to counsel in the state court, unless the state authorizes it.
However, the court states that the issue should be looked at through a case-by-case basis, and that those charged with capital offenses should have the right to an attorney, but other crimes don’t mandate such a requirement.
Court said that we’re not going to say that the 6th AMD applies to all state prosecutions.
DEVELOPMENTS AFTER BETTS
Bute v. Illinois (1948) – concluded in dicta that there was a requirement of counsel in all capital cases.
Hamilton v. Alabama (1961) – held DP offended when a defendant at an arraignment in capital case didn’t have an attorney.
Chandler v. Fretag (1954) – held denying a defendant assistance of own attorney was a per se violation of DP.
Chewning v. Cunningham (1962) – held that in complicated matters denial of an attorney was a DP violation.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963). ISSUE: DO INDIGENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY?
Here, Defendant requests an attorney, the court denies it, and he’s convicted. He appeals claiming that he was deprived of his 6th AMD right to an attorney.
Here, the Court overrules the Betts decision, concluding that the 6th AMD right to counsel does apply to the states via the 14th AMD—and reverses the Defendant’s conviction. Court holds that the right to counsel is a fundamental right that the state cannot abridge.
Betts was overruled in large part because of the conundrum that arises under Betts, where a defendant would have to argue that his case was a special one under Betts requiring counsel, without the sophisticated attorney to help him.
Here, however, it is important to note that the court decided this case in relation to felonies, not all crimes.
Argersinger v. Hamlin (1972). ISSUE: WHEN DOES GIDEON APPLY?
HELD: Gideon’s right to counsel applies any time that incarceration is a possible result for any given offense. Under this standard, no prison term may be imposed, unless the accused is represented by counsel.
Florida establishes law stating that defendants only have the 6th AMD right to counsel where the defendant is facing a charge of nonpetty offense punishable by more than six months imprisonment, and that absent a knowing and intelligent waiver, no person may be imprisoned for any offense, whether classified as petty, misdemeanor or felony unless he was represented by counsel.
Court here concludes that the FL statute is unconstitutional and thus strikes it down. In doing so, the court acknowledges the difficulty that the states will have in providing counsel, but concludes that threat of the loss of liberty is so detrimental that a lawyer will be required if one is to face jail time if convicted.
So here, the court concludes that punishment via jail time will only be enforceable if the defendant is given the opportunity to have an attorney present on his behalf – however, this implicitly holds that fines and probation will not require that the 6th AMD right to an attorney attaches.
Fundamental Takeaway: You can’t face incarceration if your 6th AMD right to counsel isn’t recognized.
What is the rationale for the incarcerated / fines & probation distinction? The deprivation of freedom/liberty.
DO YOU GO TO JAIL OR NOT? This is the Supreme Court’s ultimate question for whether or not the right to counsel attaches, as the SC concludes that incarceration is different in both degree and kind of punishment as compared to fines and probation, where no loss of liberty occurs.
Scott v. Illinois (1979). ISSUE: Are there limits on the above rights to counsel?
HELD: Yes. Here, the indigent accused was not entitled to appointed counsel, even when he could have been sentences to one year in jail, because he was actually fined only $50. Actual imprisonment, not the fines or the mere threat of imprisonment is the line that defines the constitutional right to appointment of counsel.
Baldasar v. Illinois (1980). If an indigent is not provided counsel, any conviction that results form the proceeding may not be used at a later time to increase the indigent’s imprisonment upon a subsequent conviction under a recidivist statute.
NICHOLS v. U.S. (1994), the SC overruled Baldasar, holding that, “an uncounseled conviction valid under Scott [because no prison term was imposed] may be relied upon to enhance the sentence for a subsequent offense, even though that sentence entails imprisonment.
SUMMARY TABLE – Indigent’s Right to Appointment of Counsel
HOLDING: The 14th Amendment does not extend the 6th Amendment right to counsel to indigents being prosecuted by the State.
HOLDING: Overrules Betts. Concludes that the 6th Amendment right to counsel does extend to State prosecutions via the 14th Amendment
HOLDING: The right to counsel attaches any time an indigent defendant is facing jail time if convicted.
HOLDING: The 6th Amendment right to counsel attaches only where jail time is imposed upon the defendant.
Alabama v. Shelton (2002). ISSUE: If no counsel provided, can suspended sentence be imposed?
Court here finds that if Scott and Argensinger requirements aren’t met, that under the theory of suspended sentence or probation, you can’t reinitiate a jail sentence because the defendant screws up (i.e. if the Defendant isn’t given an attorney for a given charged offense, then you can’t under any circumstances later imprison him for that charged offense.
Basic RULE: If you don’t have an attorney, than you can’t go to in jail, under any circumstances.
So suspended sentences appear to be obsolete/ridiculous where the defendant is not given counsel, because you’ll never be able to impose the suspended sentence against the defendant.
Right to Counsel – Counsel of One’s Choice
Morris v. Slappy (1983). ISSUE: Can the indigent defendant have appointed counsel of choice?
Held: NO. Indigent defendant doesn’t have the right to designate which attorney he wants appointed to represent him. Instead, it is left to the court’s discretion.
Here, where the defendant’s appointed counsel was hospitalized shortly before trial and the defendant wanted to wait for him rather than be appointed a new attorney, the court held that there is no 6th AMD right to a “meaningful attorney-client relationship.
U.S. v. Gonzales-Lopez (2006) ISSUE: What about choice when you’ve retained an attorney?
Court found that when you can hire your own attorney, you can select any attorney of your choosing, and that you have a constitutional right to have whoever you want. The court finds that a denial of the right to counsel of one’s choice, when you have retained that attorney (this doesn’t apply to indigents), is a structural error, and as such you don’t need to demonstrate additional prejudice to obtain a reversal of conviction
Right to Counsel – The Equity Principle
Griffin v. IL. (1956)
ISSUE: Is an indigent D entitled to a free copy of a transcript for appellate purposes?
Held: YES. If you’re an indigent defendant, and you need to appeal, the state is required to provide you with a copy of the trial transcripts, so as not to impose a disadvantage upon indigents that those able to pay aren’t forced to suffer (i.e. so as to not violate DP on the basis of poverty).
Mayer v. Chicago (1971)
ISSUE: Does the Griffin rule apply only to felony cases?
Held: NO. An indigent appellant can’t be denied a ‘record of sufficient completeness’ to permit proper considerations of his claims because he was convicted of ordinance violations punishable by fine only (i.e. severity of crime doesn’t matter for appellate access purposes). Griffin is not a balancing test, but a flat prohibition against pricing indigent Ds out of as an effective an appeal as would be a
a higher standard/finding of competency required to waive the right to counsel?
Held: NO. Here the SC rejected the notion that competency to plead guilty or to waive the right to counsel must be measured by a higher or different standard than the competency standard for standing trial—whether the defendant has “sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding” and has “a rational as well as functional understanding of the proceedings against him.”
Right to Counsel – Effective Assistance of Counsel
Court’s Current TWO-PART TEST: A convicted defendant can prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel only by showing: (1) that counsel’s performance was so deficient as not to qualify as counsel under the Sixth Amendment AND (2) that the deficient performance prejudiced the defendant.
So need: Deficient performance (would a reasonably competent defense attorney have done the same thing?) and prejudice (did the incompetence prejudice the defendant in a material way).
Strickland v. Washington (1984).
Issue: To successfully claim ineffective assistance of counsel, must the D show that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the sentencing proceeding would have been different?
HELD: YES. The basis for an ineffectiveness claim is that counsel’s conduct rendered the trial unreliable. Thus, the claimant must show that counsel’s performance was short of professional standards and that it prejudiced the defense. To substantiate an ineffectiveness claim, a D must show that there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different. A reasonable probability is one sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome. In assessing the defendant’s proof of prejudice, the court must consider the totality of the evidence before the jury or judge. Here, the court finds no prejudice, as the D chose to rely on his counsel’s strategy, and another reasonable attorney might have pursued a similar course of action.
Kimmelman v. Morrison (1986).
Issue: Does a Sixth Amendment ineffective assistance of counsel claim arise in a habeas corpus action from counsel’s failure to file a timely motion to suppress evidence allegedly obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment? (i.e. does an attorney’s failure to perform in line with reasonable professional obligations violate the Sixth Amendment?
HELD: YES. An ineffectiveness claim is premised on the notion that the trial was rendered unfair and the verdict suspect by counsel’s serious unprofessional errors. D must show that (1) counsel’s representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness, and (2) that there exists a reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different. Here, the court finds that D’s attorney unreasonably believed that the prosecution was obligated to reveal all inculpatory evidence. D’s counsel’s failure to conduct pretrial discovery fell below the level of reasonable professional assistance. D claims prejudice is proven, but the Court ultimately remands for a consideration of whether the absence of the evidence that D claims his attorney should have suppressed would have potentially created reasonable doubt.