Johnson v. Avery 393 U.S. 483 (1969)
JOHNSON v. AVERY 393 U.S. 483 (1969)
In a 7–2 decision, the Supreme Court, through Justice abe fortas, upheld the right of state prisoners to receive the assistance of fellow convicts in the preparation of writs. The Court overturned a Tennessee prison rule aimed at abolishing the "jailhouse lawyer" practice by which a few convicts, relatively skilled at writ-writing, achieved a position of power among the inmates. Because the rule might have the effect of denying the poor and illiterate the right of habeas corpus, Tennessee was ordered either to abolish the rule or to provide alternative legal assistance for prisoners wishing to seek postconviction review of their cases.
Dennis J. Mahoney