United States Supreme Court
426 U.S. 637 (1976)
Morgan (defendant) was labeled “retarded” and confined to an institution at a young age. Upon release, Morgan went to work on Ada Francisco’s farm. After arguing with Francisco, Morgan went to collect his pay and leave. An altercation ensued, and Morgan stabbed Francisco to death. Morgan was charged with first-degree murder. The prosecution offered a plea deal of 25 years imprisonment in exchange for a guilty plea to second-degree murder. Morgan’s attorneys did not clarify the intent required for that offense. Morgan entered a guilty plea. The judge did not explain the elements of the offense or ask if Morgan had been so advised. At sentencing, Morgan’s attorneys claimed that Morgan never intended to harm Francisco. Morgan later secured an evidentiary hearing to challenge the validity of the guilty plea. Morgan claimed he would not have plead guilty if he knew that intent to cause the victim’s death was an element of second-degree murder.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)
Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 241,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.