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MALINSKI V. NEW YORK, 324 U. S. 401 (1945)

U.S. Supreme Court

Malinski v. New York, 324 U.S. 401 (1945)

Malinski v. New York

No. 367

Argued December 4, 5, 1944

Decided March 26,1945

324 U.S. 401


1. Upon review of a state court judgment affirming convictions of codefendants Malinski and Rudish on a charge of murder, denial of rights under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment being claimed, the judgment against Malinski is reversed, and that against Rudish is affirmed. Pp. 324 U. S. 402, 324 U. S. 412.

2. The case against the codefendant Rudish, both as tried and as sustained on appeal, was not dependent on a subsequent confession of Malinski (though assumed to have been coerced); on the record, the questions raised involve matters of state procedure beyond the province of this Court to review; and the judgment against Rudish is therefore affirmed. Anderson v. United States, 318 U. S. 350, and Ashcraft v. Tennessee, 322 U. S. 143, distinguished. Pp. 324 U. S. 410, 324 U. S. 412.

Opinion of DOUGLAS, J., in which BLACK, MURPHY and RUTLEDGE, JJ., join:

3. The question whether there has been a violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by the introduction of an involuntary confession is one upon which this Court must make an independent determination on the undisputed evidence. P. 324 U. S. 404.

4. If all the attendant circumstances indicate that the confession was coerced or compelled, it may not be used to convict a defendant. P. 324 U. S. 404.

5. A conviction obtained by use of a coerced confession will be set aside even though the evidence apart from the confession might have been sufficient to sustain the verdict. P. 324 U. S. 404.

6. The evidence of the circumstances in which Malinski made the first of several confessions, together with the comments of the prosecutor in his summation to the jury, show that that confession was coerced; and, upon the record, the case must be considered as one in which a coerced confession was used to obtain a conviction. P. 324 U. S. 406.

7. The judgment against Malinski, resting in part on a coerced confession, must be reversed. A majority of the Court do not reach the question whether the subsequent confessions were free from the infirmities of the first. P. 324 U. S. 410.

292 N.Y. 360, 55 N.E.2d 353, affirmed in part; reversed in part.

Page 324 U. S. 402

Certiorari, 323 U.S. 694, to review the affirmance of convictions of murder.

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