U.S. Supreme Court
Hamilton v. Alabama, 368 U.S. 52 (1961)
Hamilton v. Alabama
Argued October 17, 1961
Decided November 13, 1961
368 U.S. 52
In Alabama, arraignment is a critical stage in a criminal proceeding, because only then may the defense of insanity be pleaded and pleas in abatement or motions challenging the composition of the grand jury be made. Petitioner was arraigned without counsel in Alabama for a capital offense, to which he pleaded not guilty, and subsequently he was convicted and sentenced to death.
Held: Absence of counsel for petitioner at the time of his arraignment violated his rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 368 U. S. 52-55.
271 Ala. 88, 122 So. 2d 602, reversed.