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FOSTER V. ILLINOIS, 332 U. S. 134 (1947)

U.S. Supreme Court

Foster v. Illinois, 332 U.S. 134 (1947)

Foster v. Illinois

No. 540

Argued May 8, 1947

Decided June 23, 1947

332 U.S. 134


1. In reviewing on writ of error a conviction for burglary and larceny in which it was claimed that the right to counsel had been denied contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment, a state supreme court was confined by local practice to the common law record. That record contained no specific recital of an offer of counsel, but it showed that the defendant was a mature man, and that, before accepting his plea of guilty, the trial court advised him of his "rights of trial" and of the consequences of a plea of guilty, and it contained nothing to contradict this account of the proceedings. In the state supreme court, there was neither proof nor uncontradicted allegation of any actual miscarriage of justice in accepting the plea of guilty, and that court affirmed the conviction.

Held: on this record, to which review in this Court is confined, there is no showing of a denial of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 332 U. S. 138-139.

2. The provision of the Sixth Amendment which guarantees to an accused in a criminal prosecution in a federal court the absolute right "to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence," is not made applicable by the Fourteenth Amendment to prosecutions in state courts. Pp. 332 U. S. 136-137.

394 Ill.194, 68 N.E.2d 252, affirmed.

In an original proceeding in the Supreme Court of Illinois, petitioners challenged the validity, under the Federal Constitution, of sentences of imprisonment imposed on them upon pleas of guilty in criminal prosecutions in a state court. The State Supreme Court affirmed the judgments. 394 Ill.194, 68 N.E.2d 252. This Court granted certiorari. 329 U.S. 712. Affirmed, p. 332 U. S. 139.

Page 332 U. S. 135

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