Theodore Stovall (defendant) was arrested for murdering a man in his home and for stabbing the man's wife numerous times when she tried to fight back. The woman was in serious condition and could not leave the hospital. The police brought Stovall to the hospital so the woman could identify him as the assailant. He was the only Black person in the room and was handcuffed to a police officer. The woman identified him after he made a statement, at the police’s direction, so she could make a voice identification. At Stovall’s trial, she made an in-court identification as well. Stovall was convicted and sentenced to death. Stovall's conviction was affirmed on direct review, and he filed a habeas corpus petition challenging his conviction. The district court dismissed the petition, and the appellate court affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.