Lanier v. South Carolina,
474 U.S. 25 (1985)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lanier v. South Carolina, 474 U.S. 25 (1985)

Lanier v. South Carolina

No. 85-5260

Decided November 4, 1985

474 U.S. 25


Petitioner, who was convicted of armed robbery, contended that the South Carolina trial court should have suppressed his confession as being the product of an illegal arrest. The South Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court, holding that, even assuming petitioner's arrest was illegal, the confession was admissible because voluntariness was the test of admissibility and petitioner did not claim that his confession was not voluntary.

Held: The South Carolina Court of Appeals' judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded, because the court's reasoning is inconsistent with well-established precedent holding that a finding of voluntariness of a confession for Fifth Amendment purposes is not, by itself, sufficient to purge the taint of an illegal arrest, but is merely a threshold requirement for Fourth Amendment analysis.

Certiorari granted; vacated and remanded.

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