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Malloy v. Hogan: 5th Amendment applicable to the states

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  • Legalbear
    in Bram v. United States, 168 U.S. 532, the Court held that in criminal trials, in the courts of the United States, wherever a question arises whether a
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2010
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      in Bram v. United States, 168 U.S. 532, the Court held that "in criminal trials, in the courts of the United States, wherever a question arises whether a confession is incompetent because not voluntary, the issue is controlled by that portion of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, commanding that no person 'shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.'" Id., at 542. Under this test, the constitutional inquiry is not whether the conduct of state officers in obtaining the confession was shocking, but whether the confession was "free and voluntary: that is, [it] must not be extracted by any sort of threats or violence, nor obtained by any direct or implied promises, however slight, nor by the exertion of any improper influence. . . ." Id., at 542-543; see also Hardy v. United States, 186 U.S. 224, 229; Wan v. United States, 266 U.S. 1, 14; Smith v. United States, 348 U.S. 147,  150. In other words the person must not have been compelled to incriminate himself. We have held inadmissible even a confession secured by so mild a whip as the refusal, under certain circumstances, to allow a suspect to call his wife until he confessed. Haynes v. Washington, 373 U.S. 503.  Malloy v. Hogan, 1964.SCT.40420 <http://www.versuslaw.com>¶ 18; 378 U.S. 1 (1964).


      it follows a fortiori that it also forbids the States to resort to imprisonment, as here, to compel him to answer questions that might incriminate him. The Fourteenth Amendment secures against state invasion the same privilege that the Fifth Amendment guarantees against federal infringement -- the right of a person to remain silent unless he chooses to speak in the unfettered exercise of his own will, and to suffer no penalty, as held in Twining, for such silence. Malloy v. Hogan, 1964.SCT.40420 <http://www.versuslaw.com>¶ 19; 378 U.S. 1 (1964).


      We relied upon the great case of Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616,  decided in 1886, which, considering the Fourth and Fifth Amendments as running "almost into each other," id., at 630, held that "Breaking into a house and opening boxes and drawers are circumstances of aggravation; but any forcible and compulsory extortion of a man's own testimony or of his private papers to be used as evidence to convict him of crime or to forfeit his goods, is within the condemnation of [those Amendments] . . . ." At 630. We said in Mapp :


      [21]        "We find that, as to the Federal Government, the Fourth and Fifth Amendments and, as to the States, the freedom from unconscionable invasions of privacy and the freedom from convictions based upon coerced confessions do enjoy an 'intimate relation' in their perpetuation of 'principles of humanity and civil liberty [secured] . . . only after years of struggle,' Bram v. United States, 168 U.S. 532, 543-544 . . . . The philosophy of each Amendment and of each freedom is complementary to, although not dependent upon, that of the other in its sphere of influence -- the very least that together they assure in either sphere is that no man is to be convicted on unconstitutional evidence." 367 U.S., at 656-657. Malloy v. Hogan, 1964.SCT.40420 <http://www.versuslaw.com>¶¶ 20-21; 378 U.S. 1 (1964).


      I just got done reviewing this case for something I’m working on and found it refreshing. I thought you might like some of these quotes as well:


      What is accorded is a privilege of refusing to incriminate one's self, and the feared prosecution may be by either federal or state authorities. Murphy v. Waterfront Comm'n, post, p. 52. It would be incongruous to have different standards determine the validity of a claim of privilege based on the same feared prosecution, depending on whether the claim was asserted in a state or federal court. Therefore, the same standards must determine whether an accused's silence in either a federal or state proceeding is justified. Malloy v. Hogan, 1964.SCT.40420 <http://www.versuslaw.com>¶ 23; 378 U.S. 1 (1964).


      It must be considered irrelevant that the petitioner was a witness in a statutory inquiry and not a defendant in a criminal prosecution, for it has long been settled that the privilege protects witnesses in similar federal inquiries. Counselman v. Hitchcock, 142 U.S. 547; McCarthy v. Arndstein, 266 U.S. 34; Hoffman v. United States, 341 U.S. 479. We recently elaborated the content of the federal standard in Hoffman :


      [25]        "The privilege afforded not only extends to answers that would in themselves support a conviction . . . but likewise embraces those which would furnish a link in the chain of evidence needed to prosecute . . . . If the witness, upon interposing his claim, were required to prove the hazard . . . he would be compelled to surrender the very protection which the privilege is designed to guarantee. To sustain the privilege, it need only be evident from the implications of the question, in the setting in which it is asked, that a responsive answer to the question or an explanation of why it cannot be answered might be dangerous because injurious disclosure could result." 341 U.S., at 486-487.


      [26]        We also said that, in applying that test, the judge must be


      [27]        "' perfectly clear, from a careful consideration of all the circumstances in the case, that the witness is mistaken, and that the answer[s] cannot possibly have such tendency' to incriminate." 341 U.S., at 488. Malloy v. Hogan, 1964.SCT.40420 <http://www.versuslaw.com>¶ 24-27; 378 U.S. 1 (1964).


      in the setting in which it [was] asked, that a responsive answer to the question or an explanation of why it [could not] be answered might be dangerous because injurious disclosure could result," Hoffman v. United States, 341 U.S., at 486-487; see Singleton v. United States, 343 U.S. 944. Malloy v. Hogan, 1964.SCT.40420 <http://www.versuslaw.com>¶ 31; 378 U.S. 1 (1964).



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