Cole v. Arkansas (333 U.S. 196)
Petitioners were tried in a state court under an information charging them only with a violation of § 2 of a state statute, making it an offense to promote an unlawful assemblage. The trial court instructed the jury that they were charged with an offense under § 2; and they were convicted. They appealed to the State Supreme Court, contending, inter alia, that § 2 was contrary to the Federal Constitution. Without passing on that question, the State Supreme Court sustained their convictions on the ground that the information charged and the evidence showed that petitioners had violated § 1 of the same statute, which describes the distinct offense of using force and violence. Held: Petitioners were denied due process of law and the judgment is reversed and remanded to the State Supreme Court for further proceedings. Pp. 197–202.
211 Ark. 836, 202 S.W.2d 770, reversed
[p197] Petitioners were tried and convicted of a violation of § 2 of a state statute. Their convictions were affirmed by the Supreme Court of Arkansas on the ground that they had violated § 1, describing a separate and distinct offense. 211 Ark. 836, 202 S.W.2d 770. This Court granted certiorari. 332 U.S. 834. Reversed and remanded, p. 202.
David Rein, and Joseph Forer argued the cause for petitioners. With them on the brief was Lee Pressman.
Oscar E. Ellis, Assistant Attorney General of Arkansas, and Shields M. Goodwin argued the cause for respondent. With Mr. Ellis on the brief was Guy E. Williams, Attorney General.
Mr. Justice Black delivered the opinion of the Court.