Ake v. Oklahoma 470 U.S. 68 (1985)

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AKE v. OKLAHOMA 470 U.S. 68 (1985)

Following the precedents of decisions holding that the right to counsel requires a state to provide a lawyer to an indigent defendant, the Supreme Court held, 8–1, that the fourteenth amendment's guarantee of procedural due process requires a state to provide an indigent defendant access to such psychiatric examination and assistance necessary to prepare an effective defense based on the claim of insanity. Justice thurgood marshall wrote the opinion of the court. Chief Justice warren e. burger, in a concurring opinion, said that the decision was limited to capital cases. Justice william h. rehnquist, dissenting, agreed that some such cases might require the state to provide psychiatric assistance, but argued that in this case, where the burden of proving insanity was on the defendant, the state had no such obligation.

Kenneth L. Karst