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GARNER V. UNITED STATES, 424 U. S. 648 (1976)

U.S. Supreme Court

Garner v. United States, 424 U.S. 648 (1976)

Garner v. United States

No. 74-100

Argued November 4, 1975

Decided March 23, 1976

424 U.S. 648


Petitioner's income tax returns, in which he revealed himself to be a gambler, were introduced in evidence, over his Fifth Amendment objection, as proof of the federal gambling conspiracy offense with which he was charged.

Held: Petitioner's privilege against compulsory self-incrimination was not violated. Since petitioner made incriminating disclosures on his tax returns instead of claiming the privilege, as he had the right to do, his disclosures were not compelled incriminations. Here, where there is no factor depriving petitioner of the free choice to refuse to answer, the general rule applies that, if a witness does not claim the privilege, his disclosures will not be considered as having been "compelled" within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment. United States v. Sullivan, 274 U. S. 259. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436; Mackey v. United States, 401 U. S. 667; Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U. S. 493, distinguished. Pp. 424 U. S. 650-655.

501 F.2d 228, affirmed.

POWELL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and STEWART, WHITE, BLACKMUN, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. MARSHALL, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which BRENNAN, J., joined, post, p. 424 U. S. 666. STEVENS, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Page 424 U. S. 649

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