Courses: Corrections / Procedural Law / Introduction
Morrissey v. Brewer (1972) was a landmark SCOTUS decision in which the court determined that a revocation hearing must be held to determine the factual basis of probation revocation.
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Morrissey v. Brewer is a landmark decision made by the United States Supreme Court in 1972. This decision is significant because it established the procedural due process rights that must be provided to individuals facing probation or parole revocation. The Court held that revocation hearings must be held to determine the factual basis of the alleged violation of probation or parole.
In Morrissey v. Brewer, the petitioners, Morrissey and Colson, were both parolees who had their parole revoked without a hearing. They argued that they were entitled to a hearing before their parole could be revoked. The Supreme Court ultimately agreed with the petitioners and held that parolees and probationers have a liberty interest in their conditional freedom and that they must be provided with certain procedural protections before their probation or parole can be revoked.
The Court held that probation or parole revocation hearings must be held to determine the factual basis of the alleged violation. This means that the probation or parolee must be provided with notice of the alleged violation, an opportunity to be heard, the right to present evidence, the right to cross-examine witnesses, and the right to be represented by counsel. The Court also held that the hearing must be held by an impartial decision-maker.
The decision in Morrissey v. Brewer has had significant implications for the criminal justice system. It has helped to establish the importance of procedural due process protections for individuals facing probation or parole revocation. By requiring that revocation hearings be held to determine the factual basis of the alleged violation, the decision has helped to ensure that individuals are not unfairly or arbitrarily punished.
Additionally, the decision has helped to protect the liberty interests of probationers and parolees. Prior to the decision, probation and parole revocation proceedings were often informal and lacking in procedural protections. The decision in Morrissey v. Brewer has helped to establish that revocation are serious matters that require formal proceedings and certain procedural protections.
Since the decision in Morrissey v. Brewer, the procedural protections provided to probationers and parolees have been extended to other areas of the criminal justice system. For example, defendants facing criminal charges are entitled to similar procedural protections, such as the right to a fair and impartial trial, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to be represented by counsel.
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Last Modified: 04/25/2023