Rideau v. Louisiana,
373 U.S. 723 (1963)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Rideau v. Louisiana, 373 U.S. 723 (1963)

Rideau v. Louisiana

No. 630

Argued April 29, 1963

Decided June 3, 1963

373 U.S. 723


A few hours after a man robbed a bank in Lake Charles, La., kidnapped three of the bank's employees, and killed one of them, petitioner was arrested and lodged in the Parish Jail. The next morning, a motion picture film with a sound track was made of an "interview" in the jail between petitioner and the Sheriff of the Parish. This "interview" lasted approximately 20 minutes, and consisted of interrogation by the Sheriff and admissions by petitioner that he had perpetrated the bank robbery, kidnapping, and murder. Later the same day and on the succeeding two days, the filmed "interview" was broadcast over the local television station and was seen and heard by many people in the Parish. Subsequently, petitioner was arraigned on charges of armed robbery, kidnapping, and murder, and two lawyers were appointed to represent him. They promptly filed a motion for change of venue, but this was denied and petitioner was convicted in the trial court of the Parish and sentenced to death on the murder charge.

Held: It was a denial of due process of law to refuse the request for a change of venue after the people of the Parish had been exposed repeatedly and in depth to the spectacle of the petitioner personally confessing in detail to the crimes with which he was later to be charged. Pp. 373 U. S. 723-727.

242 La. 431, 137 So.2d 283, reversed.

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