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Nix v. Whiteside

Significance

In conjunction with Strickland v. Washington and Harris v. New York, this case determined and emphasized that the right to effective counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment does not force an attorney to assist a client in perjury. In fact, the codes of ethics adopted by states and legal associations prohibit such conduct and require attorneys to make a full disclosure when a client threatens or actually has committed perjury. The decision sent a clear message to attorneys that they must take appropriate action if clients intend to or do commit perjury and to the accused that the right to effective counsel does not include the right to perjure.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988Nix v. Whiteside - Significance, Overview, Whiteside's Crime And Defense, A Unanimous Decision, Federal District Court