Pate v. Robinson case brief summary
383 U.S. 375 (1966)
Respondent inmate was convicted of
murder. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
reversed and remanded an order denying the inmate's petition for a
writ of habeas corpus and directed that a hearing be held concerning
the inmate's sanity. Certiorari was granted to the United States
PROCEDURAL HISTORY The appeals court directed the district
court on remand to hold a hearing concerning the inmate's sanity when
he committed the offense. If the inmate was found to have been
insane, the district court was directed to release him.
Court held that the district court's failure to make an inquiry into
the inmate's competence to stand trial deprived the inmate of his
constitutional right to a fair trial.
The inmate did not waive the
defense of incompetence to stand trial.
Counsel throughout the
proceedings insisted that the inmate's present sanity was an issue.
The evidence introduced on the inmate's behalf entitled him to a
The inmate was constitutionally entitled to a
hearing on the issue of his competence to stand trial, but the Court
did not think that there could be a meaningful hearing on the issue
at such a late date.
The court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals in part
and remanded with directions to issue the inmate's writ of habeas
corpus petition and discharge the inmate, unless the state gave him a
new trial within a reasonable time. Suggested law school study materials
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