MCNABB V. UNITED STATES, 318 U. S. 332 (1943)

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U.S. Supreme Court

McNabb v. United States, 318 U.S. 332 (1943)

McNabb v. United States

No. 25

Argued October 22, 1942

Decided March 1, 1943

318 U.S. 332


1. The power of this Court upon review of convictions in the federal courts is not limited to the determination of the constitutional validity of such convictions. P. 318 U. S. 340.

2. Judicial supervision of the administration of criminal justice in the federal courts implies the duty of establishing and maintaining civilized standards of procedure and evidence. P. 318 U. S. 340.

3. The principles governing the admissibility of evidence in criminal cases in the federal courts are not restricted to those derived solely from the Constitution. P. 318 U. S. 341.

4. In the exercise of its authority over the administration of criminal justice in the federal courts, this Court, from its beginning, has formulated applicable rules of evidence; and has been guided therein by considerations of justice not limited to strict canons of evidentiary relevance. P. 318 U. S. 341.

5. The circumstances (detailed in the opinion) under which federal officers obtained incriminating statements from the defendants in this case, together with the flagrant disregard of Acts of Congress requiring that accused persons arrested by federal officers be taken before a United States Commissioner or other judicial officer, rendered the evidence thus obtained inadmissible in a criminal prosecution in a federal court, and convictions resting upon such evidence must be set aside. P. 318 U. S. 341.

6. Although Congress has not explicitly forbidden the use of evidence so procured, yet to permit such evidence to be made the basis of a conviction in the federal courts would stultify the policy which Congress has enacted into law. P. 318 U. S. 345.

123 F.2d 848, reversed.

Certiorari, 316 U.S. 658, to review the affirmance of convictions of second-degree murder for the killing of a federal officer while he was engaged in the performance of his official duties, 18 U.S.C. § 253.

Page 318 U. S. 333

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