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8 Cards in this Set

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Barker v. Wingo (1972)
Issue: Was petitioner Willie Barker deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial when the Commonwealth sought 16 continuances to delay his trial?

Rule: The Court rejected two inflexible approaches - the fixed time period because it goes further than the Constitution requires; the demand-waiver rule because it is insensitive to the right to a speedy trial - and implemented a new four-pronged balancing test to evaluate when the right to a speedy trial is violated. Prongs: 1) Length of delay, 2) the reason for the delay, 3) the defendant's assertion of his right, 4) and prejudice to the defendant. The Court determined that a defendant's assertion of or failure to assert his right to a speedy trial is a factor to be considered in an inquiry into the deprivation of the right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment.

Conclusion: The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the decision made by the Court of Appeals, declaring that the appellant Willie Barker was not denied his due process right to a speedy trial, as his failure to assert his right, coupled with the lack of any *prejudice against him, and the reasonableness of the delays after the defendant's assertion passed the four-pronged balancing test.

*Prejudice: The ability to lay a defense is harmed.
U.S. v. Armstrong (1996)
Issue: In a pre-trial phase, what do defendants need to show to get discovery? What do defendants need to win a claim of selective prosecution?

Discovery: defendants must give some evidence that other similarly situated defendants are not being prosecuted.
To win Claim: defendants must show that the prosecution's actions had a discriminatory effect, AND discriminatory intent.

Conclusion: The Court reversed the judgement of the California Court of Appeals' decision (en banc, all judges), stating that the defendants must demonstrate other similarly situated people are not being prosecuted.

Course of action: Armstrong appealed to California Circuit Court 3-judge panel: Decided that defendants must demonstrate. -> Circuit court (en banc): Reversed, said it is not the defendant's job -> Court granted Certiorari (Constitutional issue).
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Issue: Should the Supreme Court's holding of Betts v. Brady, 316 U.S. 455, be reconsidered, meaning that counsel is necessary to an indigent defendant charged with a felony?

Rule: The right to the aid of counsel under the Sixth Amendment is fundamental and essential to a fair trial, and made obligatory to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Precedent case Betts v. Brady: refusal to appoint counsel did not necessarily violate the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Precedent case Powell v. Alabama: "the right to the aid of counsel is of this fundamental character."

The Betts Court made an abrupt break with its own well-considered precedents, and this Court restores the precedent decided in Powell. Governments of both federal and state level spend sums of money to establish the machinery necessary to try defendants, as the prosecuting lawyers are deemed essential to protect the public's interest. Many defendants higher the best lawyers they can. The Court takes these facts as evidence that lawyers are necessities, not luxuries.

Conclusion: The Court reversed the judgement of the Supreme Court of Florida, declaring that counsel is fundamental and essential to a fair trial.

*Incorporation case: Incorporated the 6th Amendment to the States.
Douglas v. California (1963)
Issue: Can an indigent be denied the assistance of counsel on the first appeal?

Rule: The merits of a defendant's first appeal cannot be decided without benefit of counsel, to ensure the equality demanded by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court concurs with the opinion of the Griffin v. Illinois Court which held that a State may not grant appellate review in such a way as to discriminate against some convicted defendants on account of their poverty.

Analysis: In California' system, the type of appeal a defendant is given depends on if he affords counsel, at which point he would have the full benefit of oral arguments and written briefs by counsel, as well as the ability to look through the record and identify problems. A defendant without counsel only has the barren record to speak for him.

Conclusion: The Court reversed the judgement of the California District Court of Appeal, stating that an unconstitutional line had been drawn between the rich and the poor, consequentially lacking the equality demanded by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Strickland v. Washington (1984)
Issue: What is the appropriate test for the effectiveness of counsel, and was the attorney in the Strickland case deficient?

Rule: The Court implemented a two-pronged test for the effectiveness of counsel: 1) Was counsel deficient? and 2) Was the deficient performance prejudiced to the defendant to the point of deprivation of a fair trial?

Analysis: The defendant has the burden of proof to show that the result was an unfair trial with unreasonable results, AND, without the deficiencies of counsel there would have been a different result. Counsel must be reasonably effective in the legal profession norms.

Conclusion: The Court reversed the Court of Appeals' habeas writ, and affirmed the respondent's conviction; as the respondent failed to show that counsel ha a deficient performance or sufficient prejudice, and made no showing that his sentence was rendered unreliable by a breakdown in the adversary process caused by deficiencies in counsel's assistance.
How to determine if a case goes to a federal or state court?
There must be a federal question (ex. Constitutional), or use a habeas corpus writ to get to the federal courts.
Ross v. Moffitt (1974)
Rule: In discretionary
appeals and appeals to the Supreme Court, indigent defendants have no right to court-appointed
counsel. Any appeal beyond the first (as ruled in Douglas v. California which has a right to counsel for indigent defendants), there is no right to the assistance of counsel.
Faretta v. California (1975)
Rule: Defendants have the right to self-representation. The Court established limits. Defendants who wish to represent themselves must show the trial judge that they have the ability to conduct the trial. The defendant need not have the skills and experience of a lawyer, and the judge may not deny self-representation simply because the defendant does not have expert knowledge of criminal law and procedure.