Roy v. Wainwright, No. 32604

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtTHORNAL; ROBERTS
Citation151 So.2d 825
PartiesJetson ROY, Petitioner, v. Louie L. WAINWRIGHT, Director, Division of Corrections, Respondent.
Decision Date10 April 1963
Docket NumberNo. 32604

Page 825

151 So.2d 825
Jetson ROY, Petitioner,
v.
Louie L. WAINWRIGHT, Director, Division of Corrections, Respondent.
No. 32604.
Supreme Court of Florida.
April 10, 1963.

Jetson Roy, in Proper Person, for petitioner.

Richard W. Ervin, Atty. Gen., and Reeves Bowen, Asst. Atty. Gen., for respondent.

THORNAL, Justice.

By a post-conviction application for a writ of habeas corpus the petitioner seeks release from the State prison because of an alleged denial of assistance of counsel at his trial.

We are called upon to consider a claimed deprivation of due process implicit in the petitioner's conviction.

We have before us only the bare allegations of the petitioner.

Roy alleges that in 1945 he was convicted of the crimes of breaking and entering, assault, and attempt to commit rape. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. He admits the crimes of breaking and entering, and assault. He denies the crime of attempt to commit rape. He alleges that following his apprehension he was physically abused by the arresting officer and was threatened with further physical violence if he failed to plead guilty. He claims that he was not represented by counsel at his trial. He asserts that if he had received the benefit of such representation he would not have pled guilty to and therefore he would not have been convicted of the serious crime of attempt to commit rape. At all events he alleges that the sentence is in excess of the maximum authorized by law. We are now requested to issue a writ of habeas corpus to test the validity of the conviction and subsequent sentence to life imprisonment. The petition is grounded on the alleged excessive sentence and on a claimed deprivation of counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment, Constitution of the United States, and Section 11, Declaration of Rights, Florida Constitution, F.S.A.

The prison-drafted petition, which is extremely difficult to read, is defective in certain particulars. For example, it fails to allege that at the time of his trial the petitioner was indigent and unable to employ his own attorney. If an accused is able to employ his own counsel, he is not entitled to court-appointed assistance. Prior to March 17, 1962, this Court followed the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States

Page 825

in Betts v. Brady, 316 U.S. 455, 62 S.Ct. 1252, 86 L.Ed. 1595, when considering a claimed denial of due process because of the State's failure to supply counsel in non-capital cases. Under that decision, in non-capital cases, the failure of a state court to furnish counsel for an indigent defendant was not necessarily fatal to his conviction when measured by the standards of federal due process. In addition to indigency, the accused was required to demonstrate that he could not obtain a fair trial without the assistance of counsel because of the gravity of the offense, the complexities of the issues, his immaturity, his lack of education, or because of mental incapacity or because his inexperience with legal processes made it impossible for him to defend himself. This was the holding in Betts v. Brady, supra. It governed state courts for approximately twenty-one years following its announcement in 1942. This Court and the trial courts of Florida conscientiously undertook to follow the rule.

By its recent decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, 371 U.S. 335, 83 S.Ct. 792, the Supreme Court of the United States expressly receded from its prior decision in Betts v. Brady, supra. As we read Gideon, the rule now simply is that the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of counsel is one of the fundamental rights essential to a fair trial. It has become a limitation on state action under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Constitution of the United States.

When confronted by the impact of the Gideon decision this Court became immediately concerned over the procedural facilities available to state prisoners who might have belatedly acquired rights which were not recognized at the time of their conviction. When Gideon was announced, the only practicable procedures available in Florida for a post conviction assault upon a judgment were by hapeas corpus, or writ of error coram nobis. On September 15, 1962, the Florida Judicial Council instituted

Page 827

a study of post-conviction remedies and the advisability of establishing some expeditious method of disposing of post-conviction claims of deprivation of organic rights which occurred at trial. At its meeting on October 27, 1962, the Council specifically recommended the adoption of a rule or the enactment of a statute which would facilitate and expedite the handling of post-conviction claims.

The Division of Corrections reports that as of June 30, 1962, there were approximately 8,000 State prisoners in custody. Of this group 4,065 entered pleas of guilty without the benefit of counsel. Four hundred, seventy-seven (477) entered...

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66 practice notes
  • Asay v. State, No. SC16–223
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • December 22, 2016
    ...but entirely new trials for 4542 prisoners, representing over half of Florida's entire prison population . Roy v. Wainwright , 151 So.2d 825, 827 (Fla. 1963) ("The Division of Corrections reports that as of June 30, 1962, there were approximately 8,000 State prisoners in custody. Of this gr......
  • Parilla v. Crews, CASE NO. 14-20679-Civ-MARTINEZ
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • December 16, 2014
    ...(Fla. 1975). The United States Supreme Court has equated manifest injustice to a defendant proving actual innocence. Roy v. Wainwright, 151 So. 2d 825, 828 (Fla. 1963). A defendant is required to produce "new reliable evidence-whether it be exculpatory scientific evidence, trustworthy eyewi......
  • Woodard v. State, 4 Div. 508
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Appeals
    • February 2, 1965
    ...Also, no leave of an appellate court intervenes as in coram nobis. See the opinions of Mr. Justice Thornal in Roy v. Wainwright, Fla., 151 So.2d 825, Gideon v. Wainwright, Fla., 153 So.2d 299, and State v. Weeks, Fla., 166 So.2d Here the opinion of the court below has not led up to a judgme......
  • King v. State, No. 4109
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • November 8, 1963
    ...post-conviction remedy to correct convictions on any grounds which subject them to collateral attack.' Roy v. Wainwright, Fla.1963, 151 So.2d 825, 828. In the cited decision, the Supreme Court outlined the basic requirements as to the form of motions for relief under Rule No. 1. If the moti......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
66 cases
  • Asay v. State, No. SC16–223
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • December 22, 2016
    ...but entirely new trials for 4542 prisoners, representing over half of Florida's entire prison population . Roy v. Wainwright , 151 So.2d 825, 827 (Fla. 1963) ("The Division of Corrections reports that as of June 30, 1962, there were approximately 8,000 State prisoners in custody. Of this gr......
  • Parilla v. Crews, CASE NO. 14-20679-Civ-MARTINEZ
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • December 16, 2014
    ...(Fla. 1975). The United States Supreme Court has equated manifest injustice to a defendant proving actual innocence. Roy v. Wainwright, 151 So. 2d 825, 828 (Fla. 1963). A defendant is required to produce "new reliable evidence-whether it be exculpatory scientific evidence, trustworthy eyewi......
  • Woodard v. State, 4 Div. 508
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Appeals
    • February 2, 1965
    ...Also, no leave of an appellate court intervenes as in coram nobis. See the opinions of Mr. Justice Thornal in Roy v. Wainwright, Fla., 151 So.2d 825, Gideon v. Wainwright, Fla., 153 So.2d 299, and State v. Weeks, Fla., 166 So.2d Here the opinion of the court below has not led up to a judgme......
  • King v. State, No. 4109
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • November 8, 1963
    ...post-conviction remedy to correct convictions on any grounds which subject them to collateral attack.' Roy v. Wainwright, Fla.1963, 151 So.2d 825, 828. In the cited decision, the Supreme Court outlined the basic requirements as to the form of motions for relief under Rule No. 1. If the moti......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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