HALEY V. OHIO, 332 U. S. 596 (1948)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Haley v. Ohio, 332 U.S. 596 (1948)

Haley v. Ohio

No. 51

Argued November 17, 1947

Decided January 12, 1948

332 U.S. 596


1. A 15-year-old boy was arrested about midnight on a charge of murder, and questioned by relays of police from shortly after midnight until about 5 a.m. without benefit of counsel or any friend to advise him. When confronted with alleged confessions of his alleged accomplices around 5 a.m., he signed a confession typed by the police. This confession was admitted in evidence over his protest, and he was convicted.

Held: the methods used in obtaining this confession violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the conviction cannot be sustained. Pp. 332 U. S. 597-601.

2. The ruling of the trial court admitting the confession in evidence and the finding of the jury that the confession was voluntary did not foreclose the independent examination which it is the duty of this Court to make in such case. P. 332 U. S. 599.

3. The fact that this 15-year-old boy was formally advised of his constitutional rights just before he signed the confession does not alter the result. Formulas of respect for constitutional safeguards may not become a cloak for inquisitorial practices and make an empty form of due process of law. P. 332 U. S. 601.

147 Ohio St. 340, 70 N.E.2d 905, reversed.

Petitioner's conviction for murder was sustained by the Court of Appeals of Ohio. 79 Ohio App. 237, 34 O.O. 568, 72 N.E.2d 785. The Supreme Court of Ohio dismissed an appeal. 147 Ohio St. 340, 70 N.E.2d 905. The Court granted certiorari. 331 U.S. 803. Reversed, p. 332 U. S. 601.

Page 332 U. S. 597

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