Kitchens v. Smith,
401 U.S. 847 (1971)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Kitchens v. Smith, 401 U.S. 847 (1971)

Kitchens v. Smith

No. 6131

Decided April 5, 1971

401 U.S. 847


Petitioner challenges his 1944 robbery conviction, when he was not represented by counsel, on the basis of Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U. S. 335 (1963). In his habeas corpus petition he stated that he was unable to obtain counsel "because of his impoverished condition," and at the hearing he said, "I didn't have any money and I didn't have a lawyer." Respondent made no effort to show that petitioner was not indigent at the time of his conviction. The Georgia courts denied his petition.

Held: On this record, petitioner proved he was without counsel due to indigency at the time of his conviction, and accordingly he is entitled to relief, as Gideon is fully retroactive.

Certiorari granted; 226 Ga. 667, 177 S. E. 2d 87, reversed and remanded.

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