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Smith v. Robbins
United States Supreme Court
528 U.S. 259 (2000)
In 1990, Lee Robbins (defendant) represented himself at trial in California state court, and the jury convicted Robbins of second-degree murder and grand theft of an automobile. Robbins appealed, and Robbins’s court-appointed appellate counsel filed a Wende brief, a type of brief that the defense counsel may file after concluding that an appeal would be frivolous. Robbins filed a pro se supplemental appellate brief. The California Court of Appeal affirmed Robbins’s conviction, agreeing with the appellate counsel that no arguable issues existed and finding that the record did not support the issues Robbins raised in the supplemental brief. The California Supreme Court denied Robbins’s petition for review. Robbins filed a habeas corpus petition in federal district court, claiming that the Wende brief violated his Sixth Amendment right to counsel. The district court granted habeas relief, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)
Dissent (Souter, J.)
Dissent (Stevens, J.)
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