Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ross v. Moffitt case brief

Ross v. Moffitt case brief summary
417 U.S. 600 (1974)

The State sought review of a judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which reversed the district courts' denials of defendant's motions for habeas relief, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment required the State to appoint counsel to assist defendant in both cases.

Defendant, an indigent represented at trial by court-appointed counsel, was convicted of forgery charges in two state prosecutions. His convictions were affirmed by the state appellate court where he was represented by appointed counsel. In one case, defendant sought discretionary review in the state supreme court but was refused appointment of counsel, and then was denied habeas relief by a federal district court. In the other case, the state supreme court denied certiorari, defendant unsuccessfully petitioned for court-appointed counsel to prepare a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, and another district court denied federal habeas relief. The federal court of appeals reversed the district courts' denials of habeas relief.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari and reversed, holding that neither the Due Process Clause nor the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment required that a state, after furnishing counsel for an indigent's first appeal as of right from a conviction, had to appoint counsel for the indigent's subsequent discretionary state appeals and for his applications for review in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Court reversed the court of appeal's judgment.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

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