BETTS v. BRADY
Betts was indicted for robbery in Maryland. An indigent, he was unable to afford counsel and requested one be appointed for him. The judge in the case denied the request, and Betts subsequently pled not guilty while maintaining he had a right to counsel and arguing his own defense.
Does denying a request for counsel for an indigent defendant violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment which embraces the defendant's right to counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment?
No. The Court ruled that the previously discovered right to counsel provided by the fourteenth amendment does not compel states to provide counsel to any defendant. Justice Owen Roberts' opinion asserted that the right to counsel merely prevented the state from interfering in a defendant’s request for representation rather than requiring a state to offer counsel.