Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 14,900+ case briefs...

Napue v. Illinois

United States Supreme Court
360 U.S. 264 (1959)


Henry Napue (defendant) and George Hamer were accused of participating in the murder of a policeman. The jury convicted Hamer and gave him a long sentence. Hamer testified for the State of Illinois (plaintiff) against Napue in his trial for the same offense. On direct examination, the prosecutor questioned Hamer whether the state had promised any consideration in exchange for his testimony. Hamer denied the state had made any promise, but said the public defender had promised to do what he could for Hamer. The prosecutor repeated his question on redirect examination, and Hamer once again denied that the state had promised any consideration. In fact, the prosecutor had told Hamer that, in exchange for Hamer's testimony, the prosecutor would recommend a reduction in Hamer's sentence. The jury convicted Napue, largely on Hamer's testimony, and his appeal reached the United States Supreme Court. Napue contended the prosecutor's failure to correct Hamer's testimony, which the prosecutor knew to be false, violated Napue's Fourteenth Amendment right to due process.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Warren, C.J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 284,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,900 briefs, keyed to 201 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.