Monday, April 29, 2013

Fletcher v. Weir case brief

Fletcher v. Weir case brief
455 U.S. 603, 102 S. Ct. 1309, 71 L. Ed. 2d 490, 1982 U.S.

CASE SYNOPSIS: The United States filed a petition for a writ of certiorari after the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a trial court judgment on the grounds that respondent inmate was denied due process of law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment when the government used his post-arrest silence for impeachment purposes. The inmate, who was convicted of murder, had filed a writ of habeas corpus against the prison superintendent.

FACTS: The inmate was arrested and tried for a stabbing death at a nightclub. The record did not indicate that he had received any Miranda warnings after his arrest. At his trial for intentional murder, the inmate took the stand in his own defense and claimed that he had acted in self-defense. The government cross-examined him as to why he had failed to tell that to the arresting officers. The inmate was convicted. He filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus after his conviction was affirmed by the state supreme court. The district court granted his writ, which the appellate court affirmed, concluding that the inmate was denied due process of law when the prosecutor used his post arrest silence for impeachment purposes.

On certiorari, the Court held that, in the absence of Miranda warnings, it was not a violation of due process to allow the government to cross-examine the inmate on his post-arrest silence when he chose to take the stand.

In reversing, the Court concluded that a state was entitled, in such situations, to leave to the judge and jury under its own rules of evidence the resolution of the extent to which post arrest silence impeached a criminal defendant's own testimony.

CONCLUSION: The Court granted the government's petition for certiorari, reversed the judgment granting the inmate's writ of habeas corpus, and remanded the case for proceedings consistent with the Court's opinion.

Interested in learning how to get the top grades in your law school classes? Want to learn how to study smarter than your competition? Interested in transferring to a high ranked school?

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Evolution of Legal Marketing: From Billboards to Digital Leads Over the last couple of decades, the face of legal marketing has changed a l...