Constitutional Law-Federal Criminal Procedure-Right to Counsel Under Section 2255 of the Judicial Code

Petitioner, seeking to attack a conviction for illegal possession of narcotics, was granted leave to sue in form a pauperis under 28 U.S.C. section 2255, but his request that counsel be appointed for him was denied. Petitioner’s section 2255 motion to vacate judgment was denied. Petitioner then entered a second section 2255 petition alleging basically the same errors but adding that the court had erred in not appointing counsel for his first petition. The second motion was denied without a hearing on the ground that it was “the second or successive motion for similar relief …. ” Petitioner appealed in forma pauperis to the Seventh Circuit from the denial of his second section 2255 motion. The Seventh Circuit unanimously affirmed the district court’s denial of the second section 2255 motion. On rehearing, held, reversed. The rationale of the recent Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright indicates that counsel must be appointed for an indigent in a section 2255 proceeding. Campbell v. United States, 318 F.2d 874 (7th Cir. 1963).