Saturday, December 7, 2013

Griffin v. Illinois case brief

Griffin v. Illinois case brief summary
351 U.S. 12 (1956)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner prisoners filed a motion under the Illinois Post-Conviction Hearing Act, Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 38 §§ 826-832, in order to obtain a certified copy of the entire record. The Supreme Court of Illinois affirmed the dismissal of their petition because the charges raised no substantial state or federal constitutional questions and the prisoners appealed.

CASE FACTS
The prisoners filed a petition under the Illinois Post-Conviction Hearing Act, Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 38 §§ 826-832, in order to obtain a certified copy of the entire record for their appeal. The state supreme court affirmed the dismissal of their petition because the charges raised no substantial state or federal constitutional questions.

DISCUSSION
  • On certiorari, the prisoners contended that the failure to provide them with the needed transcript violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV. 
  • The court held that while the state court was not required by the federal constitution to provide appellate courts or a right to appellate review, because the state did grant appellate review at all stages of the proceedings, the Due Process and Equal Protection Clause protected the prisoners from invidious discriminations. 
  • The court held that destitute defendants must be afforded as adequate appellate review as defendants who had money enough to buy the transcripts. 
  • The court vacated and remanded the state supreme court's order.
CONCLUSION
The court vacated and remanded the order from the state supreme court. The court held that petitioner prisoners had to be afforded as adequate appellate review as defendants with money to buy transcripts.


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