Ensign v. Pennsylvania,
227 U.S. 592 (1313)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ensign v. Pennsylvania, 227 U.S. 592 (1913)

Ensign v. Pennsylvania

No. 123, 124

Argued January 20, 1913

Decided February 24, 1913

227 U.S. 592


The Fifth Amendment is not obligatory upon the states or their judicial establishments, and regulates the procedure of federal courts only. Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U. S. 78.

A violation of defendant's rights under a provision in the state constitution which is identical to one in the federal Constitution which is only obligatory on the federal courts does not infringe a federal right.

The word "testimony" more properly refers to oral evidence than to documentary, and it is reasonable that a distinction should be made between the two.

The prohibition in § 9 of the Bankruptcy Act of 1898 against offering testimony given by the bankrupt in accordance with the provisions of that section as evidence in any criminal proceeding applies only to the testimony, and not to the schedules referred to therein.

Rev.Stat. § 860, prohibiting the use of a pleading of a party or discovery of evidence by judicial proceeding against him in a criminal proceeding, while in force, was limited by its own terms to proceedings in the federal courts, and does not apply to one in the state court.

Evidence showing the results of an expert examination of the bankrupt's books is not "testimony" within the meaning of § 9 of the Bankruptcy Act of 1898.

Quaere, and not necessary to determine in this case, whether the prohibition in § 9 of the Bankruptcy Act against using testimony of the bankrupt is not limited to criminal proceedings in the federal courts, and does not apply to such proceedings in the state courts.

228 Pa.St. 400 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the question whether schedules filed by the bankrupt are, under the Fifth Amendment to

Page 227 U. S. 593

the federal Constitution and the provisions of the Bankruptcy Act, admissible in a criminal trial of the bankrupt in the state court, are stated in the opinion.

Page 227 U. S. 596

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