Cole v. Arkansas - 333 U.S. 196 (1948)
U.S. Supreme Court
Cole v. Arkansas, 333 U.S. 196 (1948)
Cole v. Arkansas
Argued February 4-5, 1948
Decided March 8, 1948
333 U.S. 196
Petitioners were tried in a state court under an information charging them only with a violation of § 2 of a state statute making it an offense to promote an unlawful assemblage. The trial court instructed the jury that they were charged with an offense under §2, and they were convicted. They appealed to the State Supreme Court, contending, inter alia, that § 2 was contrary to the Federal Constitution. Without passing on that question, the State Supreme Court sustained their convictions on the ground that the information charged and the evidence showed that petitioners had violated § 1 of the same statute, which describes the distinct offense of using force and violence.
Held: Petitioners were denied due process of law, and the judgment is reversed and remanded to the State Supreme Court for further proceedings. Pp. 333 U. S. 197-202.
(a) It is as much a violation of due process to send an accused to prison following a conviction of a charge on which he was never tried as it would be to convict him upon a charge that was never made. P. 333 U. S. 201.
(b) To conform to due process of law, petitioners were entitled to have the validity of their convictions appraised on consideration of the case as it was tried and as the issues were determined in the trial court. P. 333 U. S. 202.
211 Ark. 836, 202 S.W.2d 770, reversed.