Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Harris v. New York case brief

Harris v. New York case brief summary
401 U.S. 222 (1971)

Defendant sought review of an order from the Court of Appeals of New York, which affirmed defendant's conviction for selling her*in to an undercover police officer.

During cross-examination at his trial, defendant was questioned regarding specified statements defendant made to the police immediately following his arrest. The statements partially contradicted defendant's direct testimony, and the state sought to impeach defendant with his statements. However, the State made no effort to use the statements in its case in chief, conceding that the statements were inadmissible under Miranda. Defendant was subsequently convicted of selling her*in to an undercover police officer, and the appellate court affirmed defendant's conviction.


  • On appeal, the court held that Miranda did not prevent the state from using defendant's statement to the police to confront defendant with prior inconsistent utterances. 
  • Thus, the court concluded that defendant's credibility was appropriately impeached by use of his earlier conflicting statements.


The court affirmed defendant's conviction for selling her*in to a police officer.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

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