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Rogers v. Richmond
United States Supreme Court
365 U.S. 534 (1961)
Rogers (defendant) was accused of murder. A team of police questioned Rogers for six hours without extracting a confession from him. Chief Eagan, the assistant police chief, was called in to help with the interrogation and, within earshot of Rogers, pretended to make a phone call telling officers to be ready to take Rogers’s wife into custody. Rogers then remained silent while Eagan questioned him for an hour. At this point, Eagan indicated that he was about to have Rogers’s wife taken into custody, prompting Rogers to confess to the murder. After being held at the jail and not permitted to talk to anyone, including an attorney who came to the jail to see him, Rogers again confessed to the murder. At trial, Rogers moved to exclude his confessions from evidence. The trial court ruled that Rogers’s confessions were voluntary and that Eagan’s use of deception in the interrogation was permissible because it had not been calculated to elicit a false confession. Rogers was convicted of murder. The Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors affirmed the trial court’s ruling. The case was eventually appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which granted certiorari on due-process grounds.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Frankfurter, J.)
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