Document Type

U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 352 (1956)


November 13, 1956

Case Title

Sheppard v. State of Ohio, 352 U.S. 910 (1956)

Box Number


Item Number



denial of petition, writ of certiorari


Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Ohio, was denied.

Also included is Justice Felix Frankfurter's filed memorandum regarding this decision, a rare occurrence for a writ denial. An excerpt of his text follows:

"The truth that education demands reiteration bears on the understanding, and not only by the laity, of the meaning of the denial of a petition for certiorari. Despite the Court's frequent exposition, misconception recurrently manifests itself regarding the exercise of our discretion in not bringing a case here for review. Appropriate occasions may therefore be utilized to make explicit what ought to be assumed. This is one."


"Such denial of [Sam Sheppard's] petition in no wise implies that this Court approves the decision of the Supreme Court of Ohio. It means and means only that for one reason or another this case did not commend itself to at least four members of the court as falling within those considerations which should lead this Court to exercise its discretion in reviewing a lower court's decision. For reasons that have often been explained the Court does not give the grounds for denying the petitions for certiorari in the normally more than 1,000 cases each year in which petitions are denied. It has also been explained why not even the positions of the various Justices in such cases are matters of public record. The rare cases in which an individual position is noted leave unillumined the functioning of the certiorari system, and do not reveal the position of all the members of the Court. See Maryland v. Baltimore Radio Show, 338 US 912, 94 Led 562, 70 S. Ct. 252."



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