United States v. Mandujano,
425 U.S. 564 (1976)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Mandujano, 425 U.S. 564 (1976)

United States v. Mandujano

No. 74-754

Argued No;ember 5, 1975

Decided May 19, 1976

425 U.S. 564


As a result of certain information concerning respondent's participation in an attempted sale of heroin, he was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury investigating narcotics traffic in the area. The prosecutor warned him that he was not required to answer any questions that might incriminate him, that all other questions had to be answered truthfully or else he would be subject to a charge of perjury, and that, if he desired a lawyer he could have one, but that the lawyer could not be inside the grand jury room. Subsequently, respondent was charged with perjury for admittedly false statements made to the grand jury about his involvement in the attempted heroin sale. The District Court granted respondent's motion to suppress his grand jury testimony because he was not given the warnings called for by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436, holding that respondent was a "putative" or "virtual" defendant when called before the grand jury, and therefore entitled to full Miranda warnings. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded. Pp. 425 U. S. 571-584; 425 U. S. 584-609; 609.

496 F.2d 1050, reversed and remanded.

THE CHIEF JUSTICE, joined by MR. JUSTICE WHITE, MR. JUSTICE POWELL, and MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST, concluded that Miranda warnings need not be given to a grand jury witness who is called to testify about criminal activities in which he may have been personally involved, and that therefore the failure to give such warnings is no basis for having false statements made to the grand jury suppressed in a subsequent prosecution of the witness for perjury based on those statements. Pp. 425 U. S. 571-584.

MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN, joined by MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL, concluded that, even when the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination is implicated, when false answers are given, the witness may consistently with the Fifth Amendment privilege be prosecuted for perjury; that, in the circumstances of this case, respondent's false answers were not induced by governmental tactics so unfair as to constitute prosecution for perjury a violation of the

Page 425 U. S. 565

Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment; that, in the absence of a knowing waiver of the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination, the Fifth Amendment requires that testimony obtained by calling a putative defendant before a grand jury and compelling him to testify regarding the suspected crime be unavailable as evidence in a later prosecution for that crime; and that, given the potential prejudice to a putative defendant's privilege against compulsory self-incrimination when called and compelled to testify before a grand jury and the ability of counsel to help avoid that prejudice, some guidance by counsel is required. Pp. 425 U. S. 584-609.

MR. JUSTICE STEWART, joined by MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN, concluded that the Fifth Amendment privilege against compulsory self-incrimination did not require the suppression of the respondent's grand jury testimony, since that testimony was relevant only to his prosecution for perjury, and was not introduced in the prosecution for attempting to distribute heroin, and that this was not a case where it could plausibly be argued that the perjury prosecution must be barred because of prosecutorial conduct amounting to a denial of due process. P. 425 U. S. 609.

BURGER, C.J., announced the Court's judgment and delivered an opinion, in which WHITE, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. BRENNAN, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which MARSHALL, J., joined, post, p. 425 U. S. 584. STEWART, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which BLACKMUN, J., joined, post, p. 425 U. S. 609. STEVENS, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Page 425 U. S. 566

Primary Holding

At least some component of the crime must have been committed for an act to qualify as an attempt of the crime.



  • Richard Taylor Rives (Author)

Case Commentary

There are many ways to investigate whether an act is an attempt, ranging from whether the act is physically proximate to the completed crime to whether the act would lead to the crime without external intervention or whether the act is an indispensable part of the crime.

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