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Stovall v. Denno

United States Supreme Court
388 U.S. 293 (1967)


Stovall (defendant) was arrested for murdering a man in his home and for stabbing his 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 African American in the room and was handcuffed to the police. 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. The court of appeals held that the identification in the hospital room was appropriate since the witness could not travel to the jail for a proper lineup. Stovall appealed his conviction, arguing that his right to due process was violated.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

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