McCray v. Illinois
386 U.S. 300 (1967)

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U.S. Supreme Court

McCray v. Illinois, 386 U.S. 300 (1967)

McCray v. Illinois

No. 159

Argued January 10-11, 1967

Decided March 20, 1967

386 U.S. 300

Syllabus

Following receipt of information from an informer, two Chicago policemen made a warrantless arrest of the petitioner for possessing narcotics. At the pretrial hearing on petitioner's motion to suppress the evidence which was found on his person, the officers testified that: the informant had told them that petitioner "was selling narcotics and had narcotics on his person" and the area where petitioner could then be found; they found him in that vicinity; after pointing petitioner out, the informant departed; they arrested petitioner and searched him in their vehicle and found the narcotics on his person. The officers also testified that, during the one to two years, respectively, that they had known the informant, he had frequently furnished accurate information about narcotics activities which had led to many convictions. Petitioner requested the informant's identity, and the State, relying on the testimonial privilege under Illinois law against such disclosure, objected. The State's objections were sustained, petitioner's motion to suppress was denied, and he was thereafter convicted upon the basis of the evidence seized. The judgment of conviction was affirmed by the State Supreme Court, which held the arrest lawful and not vitiated by the application of the "informer's privilege."

Held:

1. Upon the basis of the circumstances related by the officers, they had probable cause to make the arrest and the search incidental thereto. P. 386 U. S. 304.

2. A state court is under no absolute duty under either the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or under the Sixth Amendment as incorporated therein to require disclosure of an informer's identity at a pretrial hearing held for the purpose of determining only the question of probable cause for an arrest or search where, as here, there was ample evidence in an open and adversary proceeding that the informer was known to the officers to be reliable and that they made the arrest in good faith upon the information he supplied. Pp. 386 U. S. 305-314.

33 Ill.2d 66, 210 N.E.2d 161, affirmed.

Page 386 U. S. 301

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