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Twining v. New Jersey

United States Supreme Court
211 U.S. 78 (1908)


Facts

Twining and Cornell (defendants) were charged with fraud in a state court in New Jersey (plaintiff). A New Jersey law allowed the jury to be instructed that it could draw an unfavorable inference against a defendant from his failure to testify, where it was within his power, in denial of the evidence which tended to incriminate him. Twining and Cornell were convicted and appealed. They challenged the law as an unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Harlan, J.)

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