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Kansas v. Ventris
United States Supreme Court
556 U.S. 586 (2009)
Ventris was arrested and charged with various crimes including murder and aggravated robbery. While he was in jail, the police planted an informant who coaxed Ventris into making incriminating statements about the crimes. The state concedes that its tactic probably violated Ventris’ Sixth Amendment right to counsel. However, at trial, Ventris testified and blamed the murder and robbery on his partner. The state therefore sought to admit Ventris’ incriminating statements for impeachment purposes only. The trial court allowed the informant to testify. The jury found Ventris guilty of aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery. The state supreme court reversed the conviction, holding that evidence obtained in violation of a defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights is not admissible for any purpose. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)
Dissent (Stevens, J.)
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