HAYNES V. WASHINGTON, 373 U. S. 503 (1963)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Haynes v. Washington, 373 U.S. 503 (1963)

Haynes v. Washington

No. 147

Argued February 26-27, 1963

Decided May 27, 1963

373 U.S. 503


In a Washington State Court, petitioner was tried on a charge of robbery, convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. Over his timely objection, there was admitted in evidence a written confession obtained after he had been held incommunicado for 16 hours and had been told that he could not call his wife until he had signed it. In accordance with local practice, the question as to the voluntariness of the confession was left for determination by the jury, and it brought in a general verdict of guilty.

Held: On the record in this case, the confession was not voluntary, and its admission in evidence violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 373 U. S. 504-520.

(a) A review of the entire record reveals that petitioner's account of the circumstances in which his written confession was obtained and signed was uncontradicted in its essential elements. Pp. 373 U. S. 507-513.

(b) The uncontroverted portions of the record disclose that petitioner's written confession was obtained in, and was the result of, an atmosphere of substantial coercion and inducement created by statements and actions of state authorities, which made its admission in evidence violative of due process. Pp. 373 U. S. 513-515.

(c) This Court cannot be precluded by the verdict of a jury from determining whether the circumstances under which a confession was obtained were such that its admission in evidence amounts to a denial of due process. Pp. 373 U. S. 515-518.

58 Wash.2d 716, 364 P.2d 935, judgment vacated and cause remanded.

Page 373 U. S. 504

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