Codispoti v. Pennsylvania

RESPONDENT: Pennsylvania
LOCATION: Robinson's car during a traffic stop

DOCKET NO.: 73-5615
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

CITATION: 418 US 506 (1974)
ARGUED: Mar 25, 1974
DECIDED: Jun 26, 1974

John J. Dean -
Robert L. Eberhardt - for respondent, pro hac vice, by special leave of Court

Facts of the case


Media for Codispoti v. Pennsylvania

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 25, 1974 in Codispoti v. Pennsylvania

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 26, 1974 in Codispoti v. Pennsylvania

Byron R. White:

In Codispoti against Pennsylvania, we are also dealing with a judgment for criminal contempt.

The case is here on writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Here the contemnors were two defendants at the criminal trial who were acting as their own attorney and who were found guilty of criminal contempt after trial for several acts that occurred during the trial.

We hold that in the case of post-verdict adjudications of various acts of contempt, committed during trial, the Sixth Amendment requires a jury trial, the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments require a jury trial, if the sentences imposed aggregate more than six months, even though no sentence for more than six months is imposed for any one act of contempt.

We accordingly reverse the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania which had held that the jury trial was not required.

I have filed an opinion in which Mr. Justice Douglas, Mr. Justice Brennan and Mr. Justice Powell joined.

Mr. Justice Marshall joins in parts one and three.

He has filed a concurring opinion.

Mr. Justice Blackmun has filed a dissenting opinion in which the Chief Justice and Justices Stewart and Mr. Justice Rehnquist have joined.

Mr. Justice Rehnquist has filed a dissenting opinion in which the Chief Justice has joined.