REES V. PEYTON, 384 U. S. 312 (1966)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Rees v. Peyton, 384 U.S. 312 (1966)

Rees v. Peyton

No. 321, Misc.

Decided May 31, 1966

384 U.S. 312


Petitioner, under federal life sentences for kidnapping, filed a habeas corpus petition in the District Court alleging that a subsequent related state murder conviction on which he was sentenced to death violated his constitutional rights. A month after petitioning this Court for certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' affirmance of the District Court's rejection of his claims, petitioner ordered counsel to withdraw the petition and forgo further legal proceedings. Petitioner's counsel advised the Court that, since evidence cast doubt on his client's mental competency, he could not conscientiously do so without a psychiatric evaluation of petitioner. A psychiatrist he retained examined Rees and pronounced him incompetent. State-selected psychiatrists were unable to examine Rees for lack of his cooperation, but doubted him insane.

Held: In aid of this Court's certiorari jurisdiction, the District Court is instructed to judicially determine Rees' competence after notice to the parties, psychiatric and other medical examinations, and such hearings as it deems suitable, and report its findings to this Court.

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