Hawkins v. United StatesAnnotate this Case
358 U.S. 74 (1958)
U.S. Supreme Court
Hawkins v. United States, 358 U.S. 74 (1958)
Hawkins v. United States
Argued October 14, 1958
Decided November 24, 1958
358 U.S. 74
At petitioner's trial in a Federal District Court in which he was convicted of violating the Mann Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2421, by transporting a girl from Arkansas to Oklahoma for immoral purposes, his wife was permitted to testify against him over his objection.
Held: though the wife did not object to testifying, admission of her testimony over his objection was error. Pp. 358 U. S. 74-81.
(a) Though Congress or this Court, by decision or under its rulemaking power, can change or modify the rule where reason or experience dictates, and some specific exceptions have been made, this Court is not now prepared to abandon so much of the old common law rule as forbade one spouse to testify against the other over the latter's objection. Pp. 358 U. S. 75-79.
(b) On the record in this case, it cannot be said that the wife's testimony did not have substantial influence on the jury, and its admission was not harmless error. Pp. 358 U. S. 79-81.
249 F.2d 735, reversed.
Official Supreme Court case law is only found in the print version of the United States Reports. Justia case law is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or information linked to from this site. Please check official sources.