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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Ohlin
United States v. Ash
Citation:413 U.S. 300 (1973)
On the morning of August 26, 1965, a man with a stocking mask entered a bank in Washington, D.C., and began waving a pistol. He ordered an employee to hang up the telephone and instructed all others present not to move. Seconds later a second man, also wearing a stocking mask, entered the bank, scooped up money from teller’s drawers into a bag, and left. A Government informant, Clarence McFarland, told authorities that he had discussed the roberry with Charles J. Ash, Jr., the respondent here. The trial for Ash was set for May 1968, almost three years after the crime. In preparing for trial, the prosecutor decided to use a photographic display to determine whether the witnesses he planned to call would be able to make in-court identifications. Shortly before the trial, an FBI agent and the prosecutor showed five color photographs to the four witnesses who previously had tentatively identified the black-and-white photograph of Ash. Three of the witnesses selected the picture of Ash, but one was unable to make any selection. None of the witnesses selected the picture of Bailey which was in the group. This post-indictment identification provides the basis for respondent Ash’s claim that he was denied the right to counsel at a critical stage of the prosecution.
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