Beecher v. Alabama,
389 U.S. 35 (1967)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Beecher v. Alabama, 389 U.S. 35 (1967)

Beecher v. Alabama

No. 92, Misc.

Decided October 23, 1967

389 U.S. 35


Petitioner, already wounded by Tennessee police, confessed to a rape-murder under gunpoint threat to do so or be killed. Five days later, with "no break in the stream of events," Clewis v. Texas, 386 U. S. 707, 386 U. S. 710, when still in pain in a prison hospital and under the influence of drugs, he was directed to tell Alabama investigators "what they wanted to know." He thereupon signed confessions, which were admitted into evidence over his objections at his trial. He was convicted, and the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed.

Held: The use of petitioner's confessions, the product of gross coercion, violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Certiorari granted; 280 Ala. 283, 193 So.2d 505, reversed.

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