ashcraft v tennessee

But some men would withstand for days pressures that would destroy the will of another in hours. The State Supreme Court then ordered the case remanded to the Criminal Court of Shelby County with the same directions as to further procedure. His testimony does not carry even ordinary guaranties of truthfulness, and the courts and jury were not bound to accept it. But to go beyond this, as the Court does today, and divine in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment an exclusion of confessions on an irrebuttable presumption that custody and examination are 'inherently coercive' if of some unspecified duration within thirty-six hours, requires us to make more than a passing expression of our doubts and disagreements. There are two versions as to what happened during this period of questioning. 436, 439, 14 L.Ed. Lisenba v. California, 314 U.S. 219, 236, 238, 62 S.Ct. 766, 11 Am.St.Rep. The use of the due process clause to disable the states in protection of society from crime is quite as dangerous and delicate a use of federal judicial power as to use it to disable them from social or economic experimentation. Ashcraft's counsel moved to exclude his confession 'for the reason that the statements contained therein were not freely and voluntarily made, nor were they free from duress and restraint, but were secured by compulsion. Held.

For thirty-six hours after Ashcraft's seizure during which period he was held incommunicado, without sleep or rest, relays of officers, experienced investigators, and highly trained lawyers questioned him without respite. Mr. Nat Tipton, of Nashville, Tenn., for respondent. Becker then returned, and about 11:00 o'clock Sunday night Ashcraft expressed a desire to talk with Ezzell. Ashcraft v. Tennessee, 322 U.S. 143. We may not lay down rules of evidence for them nor revise their decisions merely because we feel more confidence in our own wisdom and rectitude. , 64 S.Ct. 327 Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319, 325, 326, 58 S.Ct. According to this testimony Ashcraft said that Ware had come to his home before daylight, just as Mrs. Ashcraft was getting in an automobile to take a journey; that he watched Ware force Mrs. Ashcraft to drive the automobile away from home with Ware accompanying her; that Ashcraft, after making slight but ineffective protests, went back to his room, later went to work, and that he made no report to the officers but kept his knowledge secret because he was afraid of Ware. 166. , 66 S.Ct. It has been known since 1500 at least that deprivation of sleep is the most effective torture and certain to produce any confession desired.' Firefox, or How else may state courts apply our tests? No. U.S. 274, 276] We see no relevant distinction between introduction of this statement and the unsigned alleged confession, except the possibility that the admission of this longconcealed knowledge was perhaps a more effective confession Deathridge v. State, 1 Sneed 75, 33 Tenn. 75; Strady v. State, 5 Cold. Then he became desperate and accused the Negro. But are not the states entitled to know, if this Court is able to state, what the considerations are which make any particular degree decisive? As to the State Supreme Court's mandate, that Court has construed it by affirming petitioners' second convictions. 149, 151, 152, 82 L.Ed. I am not sure whether the Court denies the State all right to arrest and question the husband of the slain woman. Respondent claims that this testimony did not harm Ashcraft and that Ashcraft's supposed statement that he knew who killed his wife was exculpatory. Up to this time Ware had not been suspected, nor had his name been mentioned. Google Chrome, Mr. Nat Tipton, with whom Mr. Roy H. Beeler, Attorney General of Tennessee, was on the brief, for respondent.

', The record discloses that neither the trial court nor the Tennessee Supreme Court actually held as a matter of fact that petitioners' confessions were 'freely and voluntarily made.' 1318. And the decision in the Bram case makes it clear that the admitted circumstances under which Ashcraft is alleged to have confessed preclude a holding that he acted voluntarily. About 11:00 o'clock Ashcraft said he realized the circumstances all pointed to him and that he could not explain the circumstances. At the age of eleven he left the farm and became a farm hand working for others. On the contrary, it is impugned only on grounds such as that such disputes 'are an inescapable consequence of secret inquisitorial practices.' U.S. 143 Argued February 28, 1944. * * * The most commonly used method is persistent questioning continuing hour after hour, sometimes by relays of officers. 921, 88 L.Ed. 1, 69 L.Ed. Interrogation per se is not, while violence per se is, an outlaw. The petitioners were again convicted and the State Supreme Court affirmed. After making an "independent examination", the United States Supreme Court reversed both convictions. (1890) p. 379; see also Keddington v. State, 19 Ariz. 457, 459, 172 P. 273, L.R.A.1918D, 1093. According to this testimony Ashcraft said that Ware had come to his home before daylight, just as Mrs. Ashcraft was getting in an automobile to take a journey; that he watched Ware force Mrs. Ashcraft to drive the automobile away from home with Ware accompanying her; that Ashcraft, after making slight but ineffective protests, went back to his room, later went to work, and that he made no report to the officers but kept his knowledge secret because he was afraid of Ware. Later on the Sunday night that Ashcraft was being interrogated in the jail, a court reporter was summoned and he, according to the evidence, took down complete confessions of guilt given both by Ware and Ashcraft.

Ashcraft was a white man of good reputation, good position, and substantial property. Nor can we, consistently with Constitutional due process of law, hold voluntary a confession where prosecutors do the same thing away from the restraining influences of a public trial in an open court room.10. We need not now decide other questions that have been argued except one contention mentioned below.1. Having submitted the two alleged confessions to the jury in this manner, the trial court instructed the jury that: 'what the proof may show you, if anything, that the defendants have said against themselves, the law presumes to be true, but anything the defendants have said in their own behalf, you are not obliged to believe.

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