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Nix v. Whiteside

Significance, Overview, Whiteside's Crime And Defense, A Unanimous Decision, Federal District Court


Crispus Nix, Warden


Emanuel Charles Whiteside

Petitioner's Claim

That even though Emanuel Whiteside's attorney dissuaded him from giving false testimony and warned him that he would withdraw if Whiteside insisted on perjuring, Whiteside nonetheless received a fair trial and effective legal representation, suffering no violation of his the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Brent R. Appel

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Patrick Reilly Grady

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger (writing for the Court), Thurgood Marshall, Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White.

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

26 February 1986


The Court ruled that Whiteside's lawyer did not violate Whiteside's Sixth Amendment right to counsel by refusing to allow him to present perjured testimony.

Related Cases

  • Harris v. New York, 401 U.S. 222 (1971).
  • Wilcox v. Johnson, 555 F. 2d 115 (1977).
  • Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).


The Federal Judiciary Home Page. http://www.uscourts.gov.

Further Readings

  • Hirsch, Alan. "The Gladiators of the Courtroom." Washington Times, January 31, 1997, p. A19.
  • Pope, Daniel J., and Stephanie J. Kim. "Client Perjury: Should a Lawyer Defend the System or the Client?" Defense Counsel Journal, July 1997, p. 447.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988