Are Constitutional Violations Based Upon Whether on Not They Affect the Reliability of Voided Conviction ?
In Beto v. Stacks (408 F2d 313 [5th Cir 1969]),two of the defendant's prior convictions were entered into evidence at his trial under a Texas recidivist statute.
The defendant was convicted and received an enhanced sentence.
Subsequently, one of his prior convictions was declared null and void by a Federal District Court after it was determined that narcotics introduced in his prior trial had been unlawfully seized in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.
Beto concluded that both Fourth Amendment and Sixth Amendment rights are "specific federal rights" as the term was used in Burgett.
While acknowledging that Fourth Amendment violations do not affect the integrity of the fact-finding process in the way that a right to counsel violation does, Beto observed that Burgett never sought to create a hierarchy of constitutional violations based upon whether or not they affect the underlying reliability of the voided conviction.