Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday, March 30, 1934

Didn't have to go to school today as it was Good Friday. Cleaned house. I went over to Gweyn's in the p.m.

Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Supreme Court of the United States

Full Case Name: Brown, et al vs. State of Mississippi

Facts of the Case:

Raymond Stuart, a white planter, was murdered on March 30, 1934. Arthur Ellington, Ed
Brown and Henry Shields, three black tenant farmers, were arrested for his murder. At the
trial, the prosecution's principal evidence was the defendants' confessions to police officers.
During the trial, however, prosecution witnesses freely admitted that the defendants confessed
 only after being subjected to brutal whippings by the officers. One defendant had also been
subjected to being strung up by his neck from a tree in addition to the whippings. The confessions
were nevertheless admitted into evidence, and were the only evidence used in the subsequent
 one-day trial. The defendants were convicted by a jury and sentenced to be hanged. The convictions
 were affirmed by the Mississippi Supreme Court on appeal.

Holding by the Supreme Court of the United States:

In a unanimous decision, the Court reversed the convictions of the defendants. The opinion
was delivered by Chief Justice Hughes. It held that a defendant's confession that was extracted
by police violence cannot be entered as evidence and violates the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment.


Upon remand from the United States Supreme Court, the three defendants pleaded nolo contendere
 to manslaughter rather than risk a retrial. They were however sentenced to six months, two and
one-half years, and seven and one-half years in prison, respectively

No comments:

Post a Comment