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Hoffa v. United States

United States Supreme Court
385 U.S. 293 (1966)


Facts

James Hoffa, et al. (defendants) were charged with attempting to bribe members of a federal jury during their trial for violations of a federal labor act (Test Fleet trial). Edward Partin, a coworker of Hoffa’s who was facing many unrelated criminal charges, began serving as a confidential informant for law enforcement to reduce his charges. Throughout the course of the Test Fleet trial, Partin frequented Hoffa’s hotel suite and was with Hoffa often. During this time, Hoffa made many statements indicating that he was attempting to bribe members of the Test Fleet trial jury. At trial, Partin testified to these statements and the prosecution introduced various reports from Partin indicating the same. The defendants argued that because Partin did not tell them that he was a government informant, it voided the consent that Hoffa had given him to enter the hotel suite. In addition, the defendants argued that Partin effectively conducted an illegal search as a government agent by listening to the defendants’ statements under false pretenses. The trial court convicted the defendants. The court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)

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Dissent (Warren, C.J.)

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