Maryland v. Marzullo, No. 77-784

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtWHITE
Citation98 S.Ct. 1885,435 U.S. 1011,56 L.Ed.2d 394
PartiesState of MARYLAND v. Victor Dennis MARZULLO
Docket NumberNo. 77-784
Decision Date01 May 1978

435 U.S. 1011
98 S.Ct. 1885
56 L.Ed.2d 394
State of MARYLAND

v.

Victor Dennis MARZULLO

No. 77-784

Supreme Court of the United States

May 1, 1978

On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The motion of respondent for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted.

The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Mr. Justice WHITE, with whom Mr. Justice REHNQUIST joins, dissenting.

This petition presents a question of fundamental importance to the administration of criminal justice in both the state and federal courts: what minimum standard of competence must be displayed by an attorney for a criminal defendant in order to satisfy the requirement of the Sixth Amendment that the defendant receive the effective assistance of counsel?

Despite the clear significance of this question, the federal courts of appeals are in disarray. Three Circuits subscribe to the view that the representation of a defendant will be deemed adequate as a matter of constitutional law unless it was "such as to make a mockery, a sham or a farce of the trial." United States v. Madrid Ramirez, 535 F.2d 125, 129 (C.A.1 1976); Rickenbacker v. Warden, 550 F.2d 62, 65 (C.A.2 1976); Gillihan v. Rodriguez, 551 F.2d 1182, 1187 (C.A.10 1977). Four Circuits require, however, that defense counsel render "reasonably competent" assistance. United States v. De Coster, 159 U.S.App.D.C. 326, 487 F.2d 1197, 1202 (1973); United States v. Fessel, 531 F.2d 1275, 1278 (C.A.5 1976) ("reasonably effective assistance"); United States v. Easter, 539 F.2d 663, 665-666 (C.A.8 1976) ("customary skills and diligence that a reasonably competent attorney would perform under similar circumstances"). The Third and Seventh Circuits have developed their own, apparently different, standards for determining whether effective assistance of counsel has been rendered to a defendant. Moore v. United States, 432 F.2d

Page 1012

730, 736 (C.A.3 1970) ("the exercise of the customary skill and knowledge which normally prevails at the time and place"); United States ex rel. Williams v. Twomey, 510 F.2d 635, 641 (C.A.7 1975) ("assistance which meets a minimum standard of professional representation"). The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is internally divided. Compare Saunders v. Eyman, 600 F.2d 728 (C.A.9 1977) ("farce or a mockery of justice") with Cooper v. Fitzharris, 551 F.2d 1162 (C.A.9 1977) ("reasonably effective assistance"), rehearing...

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116 practice notes
  • McCord v. Bailey, No. 79-1085
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • October 15, 1980
    ...444 U.S. 944, 100 S.Ct. 302, 62 L.Ed.2d 311 (1979). See Marzullo v. Maryland, 561 F.2d 540, 544 & n.9 (4th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1011, 98 S.Ct. 1885, 56 L.Ed.2d 394 (1978); Gard, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel-Standards and Remedies, 41 Mo.L.Rev. 483, 495-96 (1976). See also......
  • U.S. v. Ochs, No. 453
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • March 13, 1979
    ...991, 93 S.Ct. 335, 34 L.Ed.2d 258 (1972); cf. United States v. Pugh, 566 F.2d 626, 627-28 (8 Cir. 1977), Cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1010, 98 S.Ct. 1885, 56 L.Ed.2d 393 (1978); United States v. Rollins, 522 F.2d 160, 166 (2 Cir. 1975), Cert. denied, 424 U.S. 918, 96 S.Ct. 1122, 47 L.Ed.2d 324 (1......
  • Bellavia v. Fogg, No. 567
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 17, 1979
    ...736 (3d Cir. 1970) (en banc) ("customary skill and knowledge"); Marzullo v. Maryland, 561 F.2d 540, 543-44 (4th Cir. 1977), Cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1011, 98 S.Ct. 1885, 56 L.Ed.2d 394 (1978) ("normal competency"); United States v. Gray, 565 F.2d 881, 887 (5th Cir.), Cert. denied, 435 U.S. 95......
  • Shaw v. Martin, No. 83-6272
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • April 26, 1984
    ...Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ---, 104 S.Ct. 112, 78 L.Ed.2d 113 (1983); Marzullo v. Maryland, 561 F.2d 540 (4th Cir.1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1011, 98 S.Ct. 1885, 56 L.Ed.2d 394 (1978). The record shows that the advice and decision of trial counsel to recommend that Shaw plead guilty f......
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116 cases
  • McCord v. Bailey, No. 79-1085
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • October 15, 1980
    ...444 U.S. 944, 100 S.Ct. 302, 62 L.Ed.2d 311 (1979). See Marzullo v. Maryland, 561 F.2d 540, 544 & n.9 (4th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1011, 98 S.Ct. 1885, 56 L.Ed.2d 394 (1978); Gard, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel-Standards and Remedies, 41 Mo.L.Rev. 483, 495-96 (1976). See also......
  • U.S. v. Ochs, No. 453
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • March 13, 1979
    ...991, 93 S.Ct. 335, 34 L.Ed.2d 258 (1972); cf. United States v. Pugh, 566 F.2d 626, 627-28 (8 Cir. 1977), Cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1010, 98 S.Ct. 1885, 56 L.Ed.2d 393 (1978); United States v. Rollins, 522 F.2d 160, 166 (2 Cir. 1975), Cert. denied, 424 U.S. 918, 96 S.Ct. 1122, 47 L.Ed.2d 324 (1......
  • Bellavia v. Fogg, No. 567
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 17, 1979
    ...736 (3d Cir. 1970) (en banc) ("customary skill and knowledge"); Marzullo v. Maryland, 561 F.2d 540, 543-44 (4th Cir. 1977), Cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1011, 98 S.Ct. 1885, 56 L.Ed.2d 394 (1978) ("normal competency"); United States v. Gray, 565 F.2d 881, 887 (5th Cir.), Cert. denied, 435 U.S. 95......
  • Shaw v. Martin, No. 83-6272
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • April 26, 1984
    ...Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ---, 104 S.Ct. 112, 78 L.Ed.2d 113 (1983); Marzullo v. Maryland, 561 F.2d 540 (4th Cir.1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 1011, 98 S.Ct. 1885, 56 L.Ed.2d 394 (1978). The record shows that the advice and decision of trial counsel to recommend that Shaw plead guilty f......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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