Adams v. Illinois

LOCATION: Circuit Court of Cook County, Juvenile Division

DOCKET NO.: 70-5038
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: Supreme Court of Illinois

CITATION: 405 US 278 (1972)
ARGUED: Dec 07, 1971
DECIDED: Mar 06, 1972

E. James Gildea - for respondent
Edward M. Genson - for petitioner
James E. Gildea -

Facts of the case


Media for Adams v. Illinois

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 07, 1971 in Adams v. Illinois

Warren E. Burger:

We will hear arguments next in Number 5038, Adams against Illinois.

Mr. Genson.

Edward M. Genson:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

The grant of certiorari in the instant case is limited to the single question whether Coleman versus Alabama is retroactive and applicable to the instant case were prior to trial.

The defendant objected to the failure to provide counsel at a preliminary hearing.

It is our position that the State does not have standing or right, to argue reliance or non-retroactivity.

In a case where the error was pointed out to the State by the defendant prior to the trial to the Court and the State ignored the plea proceeding to trial.

The case of Linkletter versus Walker established the criteria for determining whether a rule should be or should not be retroactive.

The reasons and the criteria were the purposes to be served by the new rule, the reliance on the old rule and the effect of the new rule -- the retroactivity, retroactive application of the new rule on the administration of justice.

The purpose of the rule in Coleman as I see it is to enhance the integrity of the fact finding process and thy doing this by providing a lawyer at the preliminary hearing which in Illinois is a very critical stage of the proceeding and a very vital stage of the proceeding in the prosecution of a defendant.

The value of counsel at a preliminary hearing in Illinois is immeasurable.

The Attorney as pointed out in Coleman can use the impeachment tool later at trial.

He can fashion his tool and this would be something -- would be impossible to do without an attorney at the preliminary hearing.

As Justice Schauer pointed out in his dissent in Bonner, Bonner is one of the cases in Illinois that established the preliminary hearing not to be a critical stage.

In that case where there was no counsel the witness testified against the defendant in response to leading questions by the prosecutor in the Court.

He was not advising my co-witnesses on his own behalf, he did not testify.

He was not advised that witnesses could be excluded or kept separate during examination.

He was not advised at the preliminary hearing and Illinois can be used to perpetuate testimony which is specific in the statute.

I differ with the respondent’s analogy of Stovall versus Denno and Coleman as I can contemplate a fair wind up without an attorney present but how might a preliminary hearing be there without an attorney.

This is an adversary proceeding.

In this particular case, in the instant case not one question was asked by the defendant, not one witness was called by the defendant.

The insufficiencies or whatever insufficiencies that there might have been indicate for the State would have been -- were corrected by leading questions by the States attorney.

And I would submit that unlike Stovall where you can have a fair lineup without an attorney present, it is not possible to have a fair preliminary hearing or preliminary hearing which performs the function of a preliminary hearing in Illinois without an attorney.

Warren E. Burger:

We will only test that in a moment, suppose the acts are witnessed by great many people and at a preliminary hearing they bring in two witnesses that are said to be typical of nine others except for discovery purposes, what would be done at the preliminary hearing?

Edward M. Genson:

Mr. Chief Justice, at the preliminary hearing those two witnesses would be cross-examined.

They would be – their story would be used to -- would be tested.

There would be impeachment perhaps laid for further use at trial.

At the preliminary --

Warren E. Burger:

If -- it is discovery now.

I said other than the standard.