The Supreme Court held that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited states from using criminal confessions obtained by means “revolting to the sense of justice.”
In the early 1930’s, three African American tenant farmers in Mississippi were convicted of murdering a white planter. The main evidence was their confessions. At trial, police officers admitted that they had employed brutal whippings and threats of death to obtain the confessions. The defendants, nevertheless, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged. The Mississippi supreme court upheld the constitutionality of their trials and convictions.
By a 9-0 vote, the Supreme Court reversed the state court’s ruling. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes’s
Arizona v. Fulminante
Due process, substantive
Escobedo v. Illinois
Harris v. New York
Self-incrimination, immunity against