Britt v. North Carolina
404 U.S. 226 (1971)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Britt v. North Carolina, 404 U.S. 226 (1971)

Britt v. North Carolina

No. 70-5041

Argued October 14, 1971

Decided December 13, 1971

404 U.S. 226

Syllabus

Petitioner was convicted of murder a month after his previous trial had ended with a hung jury. Both trials took place in a small town before the same judge and with the same counsel and court reporter, who (as was conceded) was well known to defense counsel and other local lawyers and would have read back his notes to defense counsel before the second trial had he been asked to do so. Between the two trials petitioner, alleging indigency, filed a motion for a free transcript, which the trial court denied. The appellate court affirmed the conviction, holding that an adequate alternative to the transcript was available.

Held: In the narrow circumstances of this case, a transcript was not needed for petitioner' defense. Pp. 227-230.

8 N.C.App. 262, 174 S.E.2d 69, affirmed.

MARSHALL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and STEWART and WHITE, JJ. joined. BLACKMUN, J., filed a statement concurring in the result, post, p. 404 U. S. 230. DOUGLAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BRENNAN, J., joined, post, p. 404 U. S. 230.

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