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GARRISON V. PATTERSON, 391 U. S. 464 (1968)

U.S. Supreme Court

Garrison v. Patterson, 391 U.S. 464 (1968)

Garrison v. Patterson

No. 791, Misc.

Decided May 27, 1968

391 U.S. 464


Petitioner, who was under sentence of death for murder, sought a writ of habeas corpus in the District Court. That court denied the writ, denied a certificate of probable cause to appeal, but granted a stay of execution to allow for an appeal. Petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a document stating the formal history of the case, noting one of the issues, and alleging that the petition "merits further hearing by the Court," which requested a further stay of execution, a certificate of probable cause, and leave to appeal in forma pauperis. The next day, counsel were heard orally by a panel of the court in an unrecorded hearing. The court granted the stay of execution and thereafter, without further argument or submissions, granted the certificate of probable cause and affirmed the lower court's denial of habeas corpus.

Held: Where an appeal possesses sufficient merit to warrant a certificate of probable cause, appellant must be afforded adequate opportunity to address the merits, and if a summary procedure is adopted, he must be informed, by rule or otherwise, that his opportunity will or may be limited.

Certiorari granted; vacated and remanded.

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