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YOUNG V. RAGEN, 337 U. S. 235 (1949)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Young v. Ragen, 337 U.S. 235 (1949)

Young v. Ragen

No. 50

Argued November 17, 1948

Decided June 6, 1949*

337 U.S. 235


1. Convicted in an Illinois circuit court and sentenced to prison, petitioner applied to the same court for habeas corpus, claiming denial of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. His petition was denied without a hearing on the ground that it was "insufficient in law and substance." On review here, the State Attorney General conceded that the petition raised substantial federal questions; argued that habeas corpus was not an appropriate remedy under state law when the petition was denied; but admitted that it probably is an appropriate remedy under "announcements" contained in subsequent decisions of the Illinois Supreme Court, though other Illinois trial courts have continued to deny habeas corpus on procedural grounds.

Held: the order denying habeas corpus is vacated, and the cause is remanded for consideration of the present applicability of that remedy in the light of the State Supreme Court's "announcement" in People v. Lofts, 400 Ill. 432, 81 N.E.2d 495, and other relevant Illinois decisions. Pp. 337 U. S. 236-240.

(a) More than a question of state procedure is involved when a state court of last resort closes the door to any consideration of a claim of denial of a federal right. P. 337 U. S. 238.

(b) The doctrine that federal courts will not grant habeas corpus to prisoners under judgments of state courts until all state remedies have been exhausted, Ex parte Hawk, 321 U. S. 114, presupposes the existence of some adequate remedy under state law. Pp. 337 U. S. 238-239. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 337 U. S. 236

2. The orders in seven other cases in which Illinois courts had denied habeas corpus without hearings are likewise vacated and remanded for similar consideration. P. 337 U. S. 240.

Orders vacated, and causes remanded.

In No. 50, an Illinois trial court denied without a hearing a petition for habeas corpus raising substantial questions under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This Court granted certiorari. 334 U.S. 810. It also granted certiorari in No. 760 (336 U.S. 966), and now grants certiorari in the six other cases. Orders vacated, and causes remanded, p. 337 U. S. 240.

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