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Appeals Court Can Review Only Original Charges, Evidence


In Cole v. Arkansas, the U.S. Supreme Court reverses a state court that convicted four defendants for violating a particular provision of an Arkansas law, Section 2. When they appealed, the state appeals court decided the defendants deserved to be convicted under a different provision, Section 1, even though the defendants had never been charged with violating Section 1. The justices rule that this decision violated the defendants’ Sixth Amendment right to know all the charges against them so they can put on a complete defense.