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Nix v. Whiteside

Overview

The Sixth Amendment protects the rights of the accused by allowing everyone the right to legal representation at trial. However, this amendment does not specify exactly how an attorney must provide effective counsel. Consequently, when Emanuel Whiteside faced murder charges, he tried to present a fabricated account of the events or perjure as part of his defense, he expected his lawyer to assist him in presenting the kind of defense he wanted. However, the attorney refused and warned Whiteside not to present false testimony at trial. Whiteside agreed and was convicted of second-degree murder. Afterwards, Whiteside began to protest, arguing that his right to effective counsel had been violated. Whiteside petitioned courts in Iowa to hear his case, which several courts denied, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth District sided with Whiteside. However, the U.S. Supreme Court reached a unanimous decision to reverse the ruling by the court of appeals.

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