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Lakeside v. Oregon
United States Supreme Court
435 U.S. 333 (1978)
Lakeside (defendant) was charged with escaping from a minimum-security prison. Several witnesses testified in Lakeside’s defense at his jury trial, but Lakeside chose not to testify. Over Lakeside’s objection, the judge instructed the jury to disregard Lakeside’s silence and not to draw any adverse inferences based on his decision not to testify. Lakeside was convicted. Lakeside filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, arguing that the trial court should not have instructed the jury to ignore his decision to remain silent because, in a trial such as his in which there were several defense witnesses, the jury likely did not notice Lakeside’s lack of testimony. The jury instruction, Lakeside argued, likely called jurors’ attention to his decision not to testify and may have caused the jurors to draw adverse inferences. The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed the conviction, and the Oregon Supreme Court then reinstated the conviction. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)
Dissent (Stevens, J.)
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