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United States v. Wilson
United States Supreme Court
421 U.S. 309 (1975)
Thomas Wilson (defendant), Bobby Bryan, and Robert Anderson were charged with separate bank robberies. During Anderson’s trial, Wilson was called as a witness. Wilson refused to testify because his answers might incriminate him. The judge granted Wilson immunity and ordered him to testify. Wilson still refused to do so, and the court summarily found Wilson in criminal contempt. Wilson appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which found that a judge could not dispose of criminal contempt summarily in this case but instead had to provide notice and hearing and a reasonable time for defense preparation. In its view, only a disorderly or obstreperous interference with court proceedings provided an occasion for summary-contempt power. The government appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which granted cert.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)
Dissent (Brennan, J.)
Dissent (Blackmun, J.)
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