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CARNLEY V. COCHRAN, 369 U. S. 506 (1962)

U.S. Supreme Court

Carnley v. Cochran, 369 U.S. 506 (1962)

Carnley v. Cochran

No. 158

Argued February 221, 1962

Decided April 30, 1962

369 U.S. 506


Petitioner, an illiterate, was tried in a Florida State Court without counsel and was convicted of serious noncapital offenses. The record was silent as to whether he had been offered and had waived counsel, but it clearly showed that he was incapable of conducting his own defense.


1. Petitioner's case was one in which the assistance of counsel, unless intelligently and understandingly waived by him, was a right guaranteed him by the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 369 U. S. 506-513.

2. Presuming waiver of counsel from a silent record is impermissible. To sustain a claim that counsel was waived, the record must show, or there must be an allegation and evidence which show, that the accused was offered counsel but intelligently and understandingly rejected the offer. Pp. 369 U. S. 513-517.

123 So. 2d 249, reversed and cause remanded.

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