CULOMBE V. CONNECTICUT, 367 U. S. 568 (1961)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Culombe v. Connecticut, 367 U.S. 568 (1961)

Culombe v. Connecticut

No. 161

Argued January 19, 1961

Decided June 19, 1961

367 U.S. 568


Petitioner, then a 33-year-old illiterate mental defective of the moron class who was suggestible and subject to intimidation, was taken into custody by state police officers on Saturday afternoon and held without benefit of counsel, though he requested counsel, without the prompt arraignment required by state law, and without being advised of his constitutional rights. He was questioned intermittently by police officers until Wednesday night, when, after being upset by seeing his wife and sick daughter and being urged by his wife to tell the truth, he confessed to participation in a holdup in which two men were murdered. This confession was admitted in evidence over his timely objection at his trial in a state court, and he was convicted of murder.

Held: on all the circumstances of this record, this confession was not voluntary; its admission in evidence deprived petitioner of due process of law in violation of the fourteenth Amendment; and his conviction must be set aside.

147 Conn. 194, 158 A.2d 239, reversed.

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