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ROGERS V. RICHMOND, 365 U. S. 534 (1961)

U.S. Supreme Court

Rogers v. Richmond, 365 U.S. 534 (1961)

Rogers v. Richmond

No. 40

Argued November 8-9, 1960

Decided March 20, 1961

365 U.S. 534


At the trial in a state court in which petitioner was convicted of murder, two confessions which he claimed had been obtained by coercion were admitted in evidence over his objection. In determining that the confessions were "voluntary," both the trial court and the State Supreme Court, which affirmed the conviction, gave consideration to the question whether or not the confessions were reliable. Petitioner applied to a Federal District Court for a writ of habeas corpus, claiming that his conviction violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. On the basis of the record in the state trial court and that court's finding that the confessions were "voluntary," the District Court denied the writ, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: The admissibility of the confessions was not determined in accordance with standards satisfying the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; the judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded to the Court of Appeals to be held in order to give the State an opportunity to retry petitioner, in the light of this opinion, within a reasonable time. In default thereof, petitioner is to be discharged. Pp. 365 U. S. 534-549.

271 F.2d 364, reversed.

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