TOWNSEND V. BURKE, 334 U. S. 736 (1948)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Townsend v. Burke, 334 U.S. 736 (1948)

Townsend v. Burke

No. 542

Argued April 27, 1948

Decided June 14, 1948

334 U.S. 736


1. That a defendant convicted in a state court of a noncapital offense on a plea of guilty had been held incommunicado for a period of 40 hours between his arrest and his plea of guilty has no bearing on the validity of his conviction -- particularly when he makes no allegation that the circumstances of his detention induced his plea of guilty. Pp. 334 U. S. 737-738.

2. Where a defendant so convicted was not represented by counsel and it appears from the record that, while the court was considering the sentence to be imposed, the defendant actually was prejudiced either by the prosecution's submission of misinformation regarding his prior criminal record or by the court's careless misreading of that record, he was denied due process of law, and the conviction cannot be sustained. Pp. 334 U. S. 738-741.


Page 334 U. S. 737

Certiorari, 332 U.S. 854, to review denial of writ of habeas corpus by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Reversed, p. 334 U. S. 741.

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