GRIFFIN v. ILLINOIS

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
95
Petitioner 
Judson Griffin and James Crenshaw
Respondent 
Illinois
Opinion 
Advocates
(argued the cause for the petitioners)
(Attorney General of Illinois. argued the cause for the respondent)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Judson Griffin and James Crenshaw were indicted for armed robbery in Cook County, Illinois. Following their conviction, in preparation for filling for an appeal, Griffin and Crenshaw requested a transcript of their trial proceedings without cost, on the basis that they could not afford the standard fee for the transcript. The lower court dismissed the petition without hearing evidence.

Question 

Did requiring Griffin and Crenshaw to pay a fee with their request for a transcript of their trial proceedings violate their rights under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for Griffin, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Equal Protection

Yes. In a 5–4 decision authored by Justice Hugo L. Black, the Court reasoned that there is "no meaningful distinction" between denying indigent defendants the right to appeal and denying them a trial. Because Illinois conceded that Griffin and Crenshaw could not file for appeal without a transcript, the Court found that their rights to due process and equal protection had been denied.

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GRIFFIN v. ILLINOIS. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 23 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1950-1959/1955/1955_95>.
GRIFFIN v. ILLINOIS, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1950-1959/1955/1955_95 (last visited October 23, 2014).
"GRIFFIN v. ILLINOIS," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 23, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1950-1959/1955/1955_95.