States have broad discretion in the handling of unmeritorious appeals from indigent defendants, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a decision that will please California’s appellate judiciary.
The court, in a 5-4 opinion, upheld California’s controversial Wende procedure, which is invoked when court-appointed appellate counsel can find nothing worth arguing. Under Wende, counsel inform the court that there are no arguable appellate issues and ask the court to conduct an independent review of the trial record.
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