Anderson v. Charles,
447 U.S. 404 (1980)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Anderson v. Charles, 447 U.S. 404 (1980)

Anderson v. Charles

No. 79-1377

Decided June 16, 1980

447 U.S. 404


At respondent's murder trial in a Michigan court resulting in his conviction, he was asked on cross-examination why he told the jury on direct examination a different story about stealing the murder victim's car than he had told the police officers following his arrest after being given Miranda warnings. After his conviction was affirmed on appeal, respondent unsuccessfully sought a writ of habeas corpus in Federal District Court, but the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the cross-examination violated due process under the rule of Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U. S. 610.

Held: The cross-examination did not violate due process. Doyle, which held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits impeachment on the basis of a defendant's silence following Miranda warnings, does not apply to cross-examination, such as occurred here, that merely inquires into prior inconsistent statements. Such questioning makes no unfair use of silence, because a defendant who voluntarily speaks after receiving Miranda warnings has not been induced to remain silent.

Certiorari granted; 610 F.2d 417, reversed.

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