Betts v. Brady Twenty Years Later: The Right to Counself and Due Process Values

I am quite distressed by talk that the landmark case of Mapp v. Ohio “suggests by analogy” that the Court may now overrule Betts v. Brady. For whether one talks about the fourth or the sixth amendment, there is much to be said for Justice Harlan’s dissenting views in Mapp. “[W]hatever configurations … have been developed in the particularizing federal precedents” should not be “deemed a part of ‘ordered liberty,’ and as such … enforceable against the States …. [W]e would not be true to the Fourteenth Amendment were we merely to stretch the general principle [ of due process] . . . on a Procrustean bed of federal precedents.”