Betts v. Brady

Betts v. Brady Case Brief

United States Supreme Court
316 U.S. 455 (1942)

ISSUE: Does the 14th Amdt. DPC require that states appoint counsel to represent indigent Ds in all criminal cases?
HOLDING: No.
FACTS:
  • D was indicted for robbery, and since he was indigent, he was unable to employ counsel
  • D waived his right to a jury trial and examined and cross-examined Ws on his own
  • D was found guilty
REASONING:
  • No state rule: The great majority of the States do not require that their courts appoint counsel to represent all Ds as a fundamental right essential to a fair trial
    • Thus, cannot say that 14th Amdt. obligates States to furnish counsel in all cases
COMMENTS:
  • Overruled by Gideon v. Wainwright.

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