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Duncan v. Louisiana

Decision, Background Amendments And The History Of Trial By Jury, The Allegations Against Gary Duncan


Gary Duncan


State of Louisiana

Petitioner's Claim

That the state denied him his Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury, which the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees at the state level.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Richard B. Sobol

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Dorothy D. Wolbrette

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, Thurgood Marshall, Earl Warren, Byron R. White (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

John Marshall Harlan II, Potter Stewart


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

20 May 1968


This case represented a key movement of the U.S. Supreme Court to make the states comply with the amendments of the U.S. Constitution under the Fourteenth Amendment, which applied the first eight amendments to the states, according to the Supreme Court majority in this case. In Duncan v. Louisiana the Court held that the state must honor the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of a jury trial.

Related Cases

  • Maxwell v. Dow, 176 U.S. 581 (1900).
  • District of Columbia v. Clawans, 300 U.S. 617 (1937).
  • Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319 (1937).
  • Singer v. United States, 323 U.S. 338 (1945).


Levy, Leonard W., ed. Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. New York: Macmillan, 1986.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972