WASHINGTON V. TEXAS, 388 U. S. 14 (1967)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Washington v. Texas, 388 U.S. 14 (1967)

Washington v. Texas

No. 649

Argued March 15-16, 1967

Decided June 12, 1967

388 U.S. 14


Petitioner and another were charged with a fatal shooting. Petitioner's alleged co-participant was tried first and convicted of murder. At petitioner's trial for the same murder, he sought to secure his co-participant's testimony, which would have been vital for his defense. On the basis of two Texas statutes which, at the time of trial, prevented a participant accused of a crime from testifying for his coparticipant (but not for the prosecution), the judge sustained the State's objection to the coparticipant's testimony. Petitioner's conviction ensued, and was upheld on appeal.


1. The right under the Sixth Amendment of a defendant in a criminal case to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor applies to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 388 U. S. 17-19.

2. The State arbitrarily denied petitioner the right to have the material testimony for him of a witness concerning events which that witness observed, and thus denied him the right to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor. Pp. 388 U. S. 19-23.

400 S.W.2d 756, reversed.

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