DOCKET NO.: 98
DECIDED BY: Hughes Court (1932-1937)
ARGUED: Oct 10, 1932
DECIDED: Nov 07, 1932
Thomas E. Knight, Jr. – for the respondent
Walter H. Pollak – for the petitioners
Facts of the case
Nine black youths — described as, “young, ignorant, and illiterate” — were accused of raping two white women. Alabama officials sprinted through the legal proceedings: a total of three trials took one day and all nine were sentenced to death. Alabama law required the appointment of counsel in capital cases, but the attorneys did not consult with their clients and had done little more than appear to represent them at the trial. This case was decided together with Patterson v. Alabama and Weems v. Alabama.
Did the trials violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?