Fikes v. Alabama - 352 U.S. 191 (1957)
U.S. Supreme Court
Fikes v. Alabama, 352 U.S. 191 (1957)
Fikes v. Alabama
Argued December 6, 1956
Decided January 14, 1957
352 U.S. 191
In an Alabama state court, petitioner, an uneducated Negro of low mentality or mentally ill, was convicted of burglary with intent to commit rape and was sentenced to death. Two confessions admitted in evidence at his trial were obtained while he was held in a state prison far from his home, without the preliminary hearing required by Alabama law and without advice of counsel, friends or family. The first confession was obtained after five days of intermittent questioning by police officers for several hours at a time and the second five days later after more such questioning.
Held: the circumstances of pressure applied against the power of resistance of this petitioner, who was weak of will or mind, deprived him of due process of law contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 352 U. S. 191-198.
263 Ala. 89, 81 So.2d 303, reversed and remanded.