The Supreme Court upheld a person’s refusal to testify before a grand jury, stating that the privilege against self-incrimination extends beyond criminal trials to investigations such as grand jury proceedings.
In Counselman v. Hitchcock, the Court considered a federal statute that granted witnesses immunity from criminal prosecution based on their testimony during judicial proceedings but not on their testimony before a federal grand jury. Charles Counselman asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in refusing to answer questions before a federal grand jury and asked for a writ of habeas corpus when he was confined for contempt of court for not answering.
Justice Samuel Blatchford argued that the privilege against self-incrimination could be used by accused persons in any investigations.
The Court unanimously upheld his refusal to testify. In his opinion for the Court, Justice Samuel Blatchford
Adamson v. California
Due process, procedural
Kastigar v. United States
Self-incrimination, immunity against