Petitioner, sentenced to death in California for murder, obtained a judicial stay of execution on the ground that he had become insane since sentence had been passed. Eighteen days later he was certified as sane by the medical superintendent of the state hospital, who made this determination by an ex parte examination without giving petitioner notice or opportunity of hearing. A new date for execution was then set. The applicable statute provided a procedure, enforceable by mandamus, whereby a sentenced prisoner could obtain a hearing on his sanity. The petitioner, without seeking mandamus to compel the warden to act, applied for habeas corpus to obtain judicial sanity hearing. This being denied, he was granted a writ of certiorari from the United States Supreme Court to determine whether the California procedure, by its substitution of mandamus for habeas corpus, amounted to a deprivation of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Held, dismissed. Since it did not appear that the California method of hearing by mandamus was substantially less adequate than habeas corpus, the petitioner was not deprived of due process. Phyle v. Duffy, 334 U.S. 437, 68 S.Ct. 1131 (1948).
E. B. Stason Jr.,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-DUE PROCESS-RIGHT OF PRISONER CONDEMNED TO DEATH TO HEARING ON HIS SANITY,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol47/iss5/11