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

Annotate this Case

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

Syllabus

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.

Held:

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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