LEFKOWITZ V. NEWSOME, 420 U. S. 283 (1975)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lefkowitz v. Newsome, 420 U.S. 283 (1975)

Lefkowitz v. Newsome

No. 73-1627

Argued December 1 1, 1974

Decided February 19, 1975

420 U.S. 283


When state law permits a defendant to plead guilty without forfeiting his right to judicial review of specified constitutional issues, such as the lawfulness of a search or the voluntariness of a confession, the defendant is not foreclosed from pursuing those constitutional claims in a federal habeas corpus proceeding. Pp. 420 U. S. 288-293.

(a) Thus, here where a New York statute permitted an appeal from an adverse decision on a motion to suppress evidence allegedly obtained as a result of unlawful search and seizure though the conviction was based on a guilty plea, respondent, who had been convicted in state court on a guilty plea to a drug charge and who had unsuccessfully presented to the state courts on direct appeal his federal constitutional claim that evidence seized incident to an unlawful arrest should have been suppressed, was not precluded from raising such claim in a federal habeas corpus proceeding. Pp. 420 U. S. 288-292.

(b) To hold otherwise not only would deprive respondent of a federal forum despite his having satisfied all the requirements for invoking federal habeas corpus jurisdiction, but would also frustrate the State's policy in providing for post-guilty plea appellate review of pretrial motions to suppress. Pp. 420 U. S. 292-293.

492 F.2d 1166, affirmed.

STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which DOUGLAS, BRENNAN, MARSHALL, and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined. WHITE, J., post, p. 420 U. S. 294, and POWELL, J., post, p. 420 U. S. 302, filed dissenting opinions, in which BURGER, C.J.,and REHNQUIST, J., joined.

Page 420 U. S. 284

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