Petitioner was tried before a jury on a charge of larceny, convicted and sentenced to a penitentiary term. He did not request counsel, and the court made no offer to appoint counsel. In the course of the trial, petitioner was prejudiced by his failure to object to certain errors in evidence. In a petition for habeas corpus in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, he alleged denial of a constitutional right of counsel. On answer, it was averred that in petitioner's conduct of his own defense he displayed a "familiarity with legal process in the criminal courts." A transcript of petitioner's long criminal record, including eight convictions, was attached to the answer. The state supreme court denied the writ. On certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, held, reversed. Whereas the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not automatically require appointment of counsel by state courts in non-capital cases, nevertheless that constitutional provision does require that the accused be given a fair trial, which in this instance necessitated an appointment of counsel. Gibbs v. Burke, 337 U.S. 773, 69 S.Ct. 1247 (1949).
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-DUE PROCESS-RIGHT TO COUNSEL IN STATE COURTS,
Mich. L. Rev.
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