BUTE v. ILLINOIS
Bute was charged with taking indecent liberties with children. He did not have an attorney and the trial court did not appoint one for him. Bute pleaded guilty and was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
Does the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment require an attorney for Bute's defense?
No, an attorney is not required. Due process does not require states to provide counsel or to determine whether the defendant wants counsel. State courts are not bound by the procedures that federal courts are bound to follow. State court procedures are permissible unless they violate "the very essence of a scheme of ordered liberty." This case was reversed by Gideon v. Wainwright (1963).