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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Ohlin
Henderson v. Morgan
Citation:426 U.S. 637 (1976)
On April 6, 1965, respondent killed Mrs. Ada Francisco in her home. Respondent was indicted for first-degree murder and arraigned on April 15, 1965. Two concededly competent attorneys were appointed to represent him. Respondent was found competent to stand trial. The lawyers thought manslaughter first would satisfy the needs of justice. They therefore endeavored to have the charge reduced to manslaughter, but the prosecution would agree to nothing less than second-degree murder and a minimum sentence of 25 years. On June 8, 1965, respondent appeared in court with his attorneys and entered a plea of guilty to murder in the second degree in full satisfaction of the first-degree murder charge made in the indictment. Respondent stated that his plea was based on the advice of his attorneys, that he understood he was accused of killing Mrs. Francisco. There was no discussion of elements of the offense of second-degree murder. At the evidentiary hearing, respondent testified that he would not have pleaded guilty if he had known that an intent to cause the death of his victim was an element of the offense of second-degree murder.
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