Watts v. Indiana
United States Supreme Court
338 U.S. 49 (1949)
Watts (defendant) was arrested on suspicion of criminal assault. After Watts’ arrest, a dead body was discovered. The deceased appeared to have been the victim of criminal assault. Police suspected Watts was the perpetrator of the fatal assault. Watts was transported from the county jail to State Police Headquarters. For the first two days, Watts was held in solitary confinement and interrogated by officers rotating in shifts. The schedule of interrogation each day ran into the early hours of the morning. Watts was interrogated in rotating shifts for five consecutive days. On three of those days, officers put Watts in a car and drove him around town for several hours. He was given a reprieve from interrogation on Sunday. Interrogation resumed on Monday and continued into Tuesday morning, at which time Watts confessed to the killing. Watts did not have the assistance of legal counsel at any time during the interrogations. Watts was not advised of his constitutional rights and was not afforded a preliminary hearing. Watts was convicted and the state courts upheld the judgment on appeal. Watts appealed to the United States Supreme Court and his case was reviewed in conjunction with similar cases from two different states.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Frankfurter, J.)
Concurrence (Douglas, J.)
Concurrence (Jackson, J.)
Concurrence (Black, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 726,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 726,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,700 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.