Brooks v. Tennessee
406 U.S. 605 (1972)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Brooks v. Tennessee, 406 U.S. 605 (1972)

Brooks v. Tennessee

No. 71-5313

Argued March 21-22, 1972

Decided June 7, 1972

406 U.S. 605

Syllabus

1. Tennessee's statutory requirement that a defendant in a criminal proceeding "desiring to testify shall do so before any other testimony for the defense is heard by the court trying the case" violates the defendant's privilege against self-incrimination. A defendant may not be penalized for remaining silent at the close of the State's case by being excluded from the stand later in the trial. Pp. 406 U. S. 607-612.

2. The Tennessee rule also infringes the defendant's constitutional rights by depriving him of the "guiding hand of counsel," in deciding not only whether the defendant will testify but, if so, at what stage. Pp. 406 U. S. 612-613.

___ Tenn.App. ___, ___ S.W.2d ___, reversed and remanded.

BRENNAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which DOUGLAS, WHITE, MARSHALL, and POWELL, JJ., joined. STEWART, J., filed a statement concurring in the judgment and in Part II of the Court's opinion, post, p. 406 U. S. 613. BURGER, C.J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BLACKMUN and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined, post, p. 406 U. S. 613. REHNQUIST, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., and BLACKMUN, J., joined, post, p. 406 U. S. 617.

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