Cochran v. State of Kansas, No. 510

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBLACK
Citation86 L.Ed. 1453,316 U.S. 255,62 S.Ct. 1068
Docket NumberNo. 510
Decision Date11 May 1942
PartiesCOCHRAN v. STATE OF KANSAS et al

316 U.S. 255
62 S.Ct. 1068
86 L.Ed. 1453
COCHRAN

v.

STATE OF KANSAS et al.

No. 510.
Argued April 7, 8, 1942.
Decided May 11, 1942.

Mr. H. Thomas Austern, of Washington, D.C., for petitioner.

Mr. Jay Kyle, of Topeka, Kan., for respondents.

Mr. Justice BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court.

In 1933, the petitioner Cochran was convicted by a jury in a Kansas state court upon a charge of passing a $12.60 check with knowledge that it was forged. His motion for a new trial was overruled. Upon a finding that Cochran

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had previously been convicted of two other felonies the court sentenced him to life imprisonment as an habitual criminal pursuant to a Kansas statute. Kan.Gen.Stat. (Corrick, 1935) 21-107a. Two days later he was sent to the state penitentiary where he has since been confined.

In January, 1941, Cochran acting in his own behalf filed an original application for habeas corpus in the Supreme Court of Kansas. His application sets out the allegations, among others, that the trial judge had denied him the right to summon witnesses and to testify on his own behalf; and that officials of the state penitentiary enforcing prison rules there in effect had suppressed appeal documents he had prepared, thereby making it impossible for him to perfect an appeal during the two year period allowed by Kansas statute. The State filed a return containing a certified copy of the information on which Cochran was tried, journal entries of the trial, an order overruling Cochran's motion for a new trial, and the judgment and sentence.

The Kansas Supreme Court denied the writ, stating that 'the records of courts are not set aside upon the unsupported statements of a defeated litigant.' Cochran v. Amrine, 153 Kan. 777, 113 P.2d 1048, 1049. We accept the court's conclusion that the record, showing that Cochran was represented by counsel throughout, and revealing on its face no irregularities in the trial, is sufficient refutation of his unsupported charge that he was denied the right to summon witnesses and testify for himself.

But the allegations that prison officials frustrated Cochran's efforts to perfect an appeal are a different matter. Since these allegations relate to a period subsequent to Cochran's commitment, and since that is the latest event referred to in the record, the record itself affords no refutation. Nor are these allegations denied in any other part of the State's answer. Moreover, the opinion of the court itself...

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130 practice notes
  • Lewis v. Casey, No. 94–1511.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 24, 1996
    ...360 U.S., at 253, 258, 79 S.Ct., at 1166, 1168–1169; Griffin v. Illinois, supra, at 13, 18, 76 S.Ct., at 588, 590; Cochran v. Kansas, 316 U.S. 255, 256, 62 S.Ct. 1068, 1069, 86 L.Ed. 1453 (1942), or habeas petitions, see Johnson v. Avery, supra, at 489, 89 S.Ct., at 750–751; Smith v. Bennet......
  • Pettus v. Warden, Franklin Med. Ctr., 1:20-cv-187
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • August 2, 2021
    ...hearing while granting it to other similarly-situated defendants violates the Equal Protection Clause, citing Cochran v. Kansas, 316 U.S. 255 (1942); Duncan v. Missouri, 152 U.S. 377 (1894) (the equal protection of the laws are secured if the laws operate on all alike, and do not subject th......
  • Silverbrand v. County of Los Angeles, No. S143929.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • April 23, 2009
    ...868.) We also noted that to hold otherwise would "run counter" to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Cochran v. Kansas (1942) 316 U.S. 255, 62 S.Ct. 1068, 86 L.Ed. 1453, which held that prison officials who suppressed a prisoner's appeal documents—rendering it impossible for him ......
  • Jackson v. Godwin, No. 25299.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • July 23, 1968
    ...A prisoner is denied equal protection of the laws if officials prevent him from taking a timely appeal. Cochran v. State of Kansas, 316 U.S. 255, 62 S.Ct. 1068, 86 L.Ed. 1453; Dowd v. United States, ex rel. Cook, 340 U.S. 206. A state parole board regulation assessing an additional year of ......
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131 cases
  • Lewis v. Casey, No. 94–1511.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 24, 1996
    ...360 U.S., at 253, 258, 79 S.Ct., at 1166, 1168–1169; Griffin v. Illinois, supra, at 13, 18, 76 S.Ct., at 588, 590; Cochran v. Kansas, 316 U.S. 255, 256, 62 S.Ct. 1068, 1069, 86 L.Ed. 1453 (1942), or habeas petitions, see Johnson v. Avery, supra, at 489, 89 S.Ct., at 750–751; Smith v. Bennet......
  • Pettus v. Warden, Franklin Med. Ctr., 1:20-cv-187
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • August 2, 2021
    ...hearing while granting it to other similarly-situated defendants violates the Equal Protection Clause, citing Cochran v. Kansas, 316 U.S. 255 (1942); Duncan v. Missouri, 152 U.S. 377 (1894) (the equal protection of the laws are secured if the laws operate on all alike, and do not subject th......
  • Silverbrand v. County of Los Angeles, No. S143929.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • April 23, 2009
    ...868.) We also noted that to hold otherwise would "run counter" to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Cochran v. Kansas (1942) 316 U.S. 255, 62 S.Ct. 1068, 86 L.Ed. 1453, which held that prison officials who suppressed a prisoner's appeal documents—rendering it impossible for him ......
  • Jackson v. Godwin, No. 25299.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • July 23, 1968
    ...A prisoner is denied equal protection of the laws if officials prevent him from taking a timely appeal. Cochran v. State of Kansas, 316 U.S. 255, 62 S.Ct. 1068, 86 L.Ed. 1453; Dowd v. United States, ex rel. Cook, 340 U.S. 206. A state parole board regulation assessing an additional year of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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