Sunday, November 3, 2013

Scott v. Illinois case brief

Scott v. Illinois case brief summary
440 U.S. 367 (1979)

Petitioner was convicted of theft and fined $ 50 after a bench trial. The state appellate court and the Supreme Court of Illinois affirmed his conviction and rejected the petitioner's contention that the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution required that the state provide trial counsel to him at its expense. The petitioner appealed upon a petition for writ of certiorari.

A prison term was authorized but not imposed upon the petitioner. On appeal, the petitioner argued that Argersinger required state provision of counsel whenever imprisonment was an authorized penalty. The state supreme court viewed Argersinger as holding that the states only had to go so far in furnishing counsel to indigent defendants and affirmed petitioner's conviction.

  • The Court affirmed.. 
  • The Court held that Argersinger delimited the constitutional right to appointed counsel in state criminal proceedings and adopted actual imprisonment as the line defining the constitutional right to appointment of counsel. 
  • The Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments required only that no indigent criminal defendant be sentenced to a term of imprisonment unless the state afforded him the right to assistance of appointed counsel in his defense.


The Court held that the Constitution did not require a state trial court to appoint counsel where a defendant was charged with a statutory offense for which imprisonment upon conviction was authorized but not actually imposed and affirmed the petitioner's conviction.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Evolution of Legal Marketing: From Billboards to Digital Leads Over the last couple of decades, the face of legal marketing has changed a l...