Chessman v. Teets

PETITIONER: Chessman
RESPONDENT: Teets
LOCATION: Military Stockade

DOCKET NO.: 893
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 354 US 156 (1957)
ARGUED: May 13, 1957
DECIDED: Jun 10, 1957

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Chessman v. Teets

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - May 13, 1957 (Part 2) in Chessman v. Teets

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - May 13, 1957 (Part 1) in Chessman v. Teets

Earl Warren:

Number 893, Caryl Chessman versus Harley O.Teets.

William O. Douglas:

Mr. Davis, are you ready?

George T. Davis:

Yes, Your Honor.

May it please the Court, colleagues from California, my associate.

I'm representing, petitioner, Caryl Chessman in this matter together with Ms. Rosalie Asher.

This is a petition for a writ of certiorari and we are here today on a hearing having been granted.

The petition was directed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals who had affirmed the judgment of the United States District Court in California, denying a petition for a writ of habeas corpus which had been filed by Caryl Chessman.

The question as framed by this Court in effect is whether under the circumstances of this case, the failure of the trial court in Los Angeles at the time of the original trial and thereafter, whether the failure at the time of the settlement of the trial record by that Court to allow Mr. Chessman or counsel for Mr. Chessman to be present at settlement proceedings was of such a nature as to denying him due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

William O. Douglas:

Wasn't that the -- their question was the same one that was here in 1950?

George T. Davis:

At that time, I think the petition raised that question but this Court at that time sent the case back, I believe.

William O. Douglas:

We denied certiorari.

George T. Davis:

Denied certiorari.

That is correct, sir.

William O. Douglas:

But wasn't that single question presented on a petition?

George T. Davis:

Not that single question.

There were several questions presented and I think the question of fraud was the fraudulent connivance by the Judge and by the district attorney and by the court reporter in presenting a spurious and false record were used on appeal.

William O. Douglas:

That was later -- that was later I think.

I think this -- this question is presented in the summer of 1950 to this Court?

George T. Davis:

Well, that may be.

I was not his counsel at that time and it could be.

William O. Douglas:

Yes.

George T. Davis:

It could be.

William O. Douglas:

It was on a petition for a certiorari to denial I think of the writ of habeas corpus which got to the --

George T. Davis:

That was the --

William O. Douglas:

-- question of jurisdiction.

George T. Davis:

-- that was the matter before the Court at that time.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Do you say Mr. Davis that he was denied the right to have counsel at the -- present at time with the settlement proceeding?

George T. Davis:

Yes, Your Honor.

That's our contention and we will go on.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Meaning as a -- as a fact?