NARDONE V. UNITED STATES, 308 U. S. 338 (1939)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Nardone v. United States, 308 U.S. 338 (1939)

Nardone v. United States

No. 240

Argued November 14, 1939

Decided December 11, 1939

308 U.S. 338


1. In a prosecution in a federal court, evidence procured by tapping wires in violation of the Communications Act of 1934 is inadmissible. This applies not only to the intercepted conversations themselves, but also, by implication, to evidence procured through the use of knowledge gained from such conversations. P. 308 U. S. 339.

2. The burden is on the accused in the first instance to prove to the trial court's satisfaction that wiretapping was unlawfully employed. P. 308 U. S. 341.

3. Once that is established, the trial judge must give opportunity to the accused to prove that a substantial portion of the case against him was the result of the illicit wiretapping. Id.

4. Claims that this taint attaches to any portion of the Government's case must satisfy the trial court with their solidity, and not be merely a means of eliciting what is in the Government's possession before its submission to the jury. And if such a claim is made after the trial is under way, the judge must likewise be satisfied that the accused could not at an earlier stage have had adequate knowledge to make his claim. P. 308 U. S. 342.

106 F.2d 41, reversed.

CERTIORARI, post, p. 539, to review the affirmance of convictions in the District Court under an indictment for frauds on revenue.

Page 308 U. S. 339

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