Ashcraft v. Tennessee
327 U.S. 274 (1946)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ashcraft v. Tennessee, 327 U.S. 274 (1946)

Ashcraft v. Tennessee

No. 381

Argued February 6, 7, 1946

Decided February 25, 1946

327 U.S. 274

Syllabus

1. On retrial of petitioner, whose conviction in a criminal case in a state court had been reversed by this Court on the ground that it had been obtained by use of a coerced confession, Ashcraft v. Tennessee,322 U. S. 143, the jury was permitted to hear testimony narrating everything (except the confession) that took place during the inquisition at which the confession was obtained. This resulted in another conviction.

Held: there was no relevant distinction between the use of this evidence and the use of the confession, and the conviction is reversed as being contrary to the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 327 U. S. 278.

2. In oral argument before this Court in the earlier proceeding, the State's attorney admitted that the confession was the only evidence against petitioner, and this was mentioned in the opinion of this Court, which reversed the conviction and remanded the cause to the state supreme court for proceedings not inconsistent with the opinion of this Court.

Held: the mandate of this Court did not forbid a new trial of petitioner. P. 279, n. *.

3. A state supreme court's construction of its own mandate is final. P. 279, n. *.

Reversed.

Page 327 U. S. 275

Petitioner was convicted as an accessory before the fact of the murder of his wife. On appeal, the conviction was affirmed by the state supreme court. On certiorari, this Court reversed the conviction on the ground that it had been obtained by use of a coerced confession, contrary to the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. 322 U. S. 322 U.S. 143. On retrial, the jury was permitted to hear testimony narrating everything (except the confession) which took place during the inquisition at which the confession was obtained. The second conviction was affirmed by the state supreme court. This Court granted certiorari. 326 U.S. 713. Reversed and remanded for further proceedings. P. 327 U. S. 279.

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