Entsminger v. Iowa

PETITIONER: Entsminger
LOCATION: Arnold Schwinn & Co.

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1965-1967)

CITATION: 386 US 748 (1967)
ARGUED: Mar 15, 1967
DECIDED: May 08, 1967

Facts of the case


Media for Entsminger v. Iowa

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 15, 1967 in Entsminger v. Iowa

Earl Warren:

Harvey Lyle Entsminger, petitioner versus Iowa.

Mr. Belin, you may proceed with your argument.

David W. Belin:

Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices, may it please the Court.

The basic issue in this case is what constitutes effective assistance of counsel.

The case is on appeal from the Supreme Court of Iowa, and involves the issues of due process and equal protection of the laws and effective assistance of counsel.

The petitioner Harvey Entsminger was arrested without warrant on June the 12th, 1964 on a traffic violation.

At the time of his arrest the Des Moines Police Apartment were looking for Mr. Entsminger on an alleged bad check charge and he was taken to the police station and arrested and asked to leave his personal effects with the jailer for safekeeping as was customary at the Des Moines police station.

Included in these personal effects which were placed in a locker in a safe were two handwritten personal letters written by the petitioner.

Two-and-a-half weeks after his arrest, Lieutenant Dawson of the Identification Bureau of the Des Moines police department asked the petitioner to submit a sample of his handwriting and the petitioner refused.

Lieutenant Dawson had been present at the arrest two-and-a-half weeks earlier.

He remembered that there were two letters that have been placed in the safe and although of these were not instrumentalities of any crime or evidence of any crime, he removed these letters from the safe.

Now there's a dispute in the record as to whether or not this was voluntary or not voluntary.

In any event, several months later, in October with court-appointed counsel, the indigent Harvey Enstminger was tried for the bad check charge.

These letters were used as an important part of the chain of evidence.

Mr. Entsminger was convicted.

He was sentenced to a term not to exceed 10 years and he is now incarcerated in the Fort Madison Penitentiary in Iowa.

Mr. Enstminger asked the court to appoint a new lawyer to represent him to file a motion for a new trial and to file an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court and in the State of Iowa appeal as a matter of right, a new counsel was appointed, a man by the name of Henry Warnley.

He filed a motion for a new trial, and the motion was overruled and the sentence imposed.

Then Mr. Warnley had 60 days to file on behalf of the petitioner a notice of appeal, and within this 60-day period, a notice was filed.

And that gave Mr. Warnley 90 days to file what we call a printed record on appeal.

Unfortunately, at the end of February, the 90-day period expired, there was no record on appeal filed.

Byron R. White:

The printed, the printed record is the full record --

David W. Belin:

The full record, yes sir.

Byron R. White:

-- including any of the testimony that --

David W. Belin:


Byron R. White:

-- is relevant.

David W. Belin:

Yes, Justice White.

It's --

Abe Fortas:

Isn't the counsel, doesn't the Attorney General pretty much concede this part of your case?

David W. Belin:

Yes, Your Honor.