DESTEFANO V. WOODS, 392 U. S. 631 (1968)

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U.S. Supreme Court

DeStefano v. Woods, 392 U.S. 631 (1968)

DeStefano v. Woods

No. 559

Decided June 17, 1968*

392 U.S. 631


In post-conviction proceedings, petitioners unsuccessfully challenged the constitutional validity of their convictions in the state courts -- petitioner in No. 941 contending that it was unconstitutional for the trial court to have instructed the jury (under a state constitutional provision applicable to noncapital cases) that it could return a guilty verdict by less than a unanimous vote, and petitioner in No. 559 contending that he was unconstitutionally denied a trial by jury when he was tried by a state court for criminal contempt, adjudged guilty, and sentenced to three concurrent one-year terms.

Held: This Court's decisions of May 20, 1968, in Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U. S. 145, holding that the States cannot deny a request for jury trial in serious criminal cases, and Bloom v. Illinois, 391 U. S. 194, holding that the right to jury trial extends to trials for serious criminal contempts, do not apply retroactively, and, since petitioners' trials were instituted before that date, the Court does not reach the issues presented by petitioners.

Certiorari granted; No. 559, 382 F.2d 557, and No. 941, affirmed.

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