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Webb v. Texas

United States Supreme Court
409 U.S. 95 (1972)


Facts

Webb (defendant) was charged with burglary by the state of Texas (plaintiff). At trial, Webb called a witness who was currently serving prison time on prior convictions. When the witness took the stand, the trial judge delivered a lengthy warning that committing perjury would be likely to result in additional prison time and could adversely impact his likelihood of parole. Webb objected to the admonition and pointed out that none of the state’s witnesses had received a comparable warning. The witness refused to testify and Webb was convicted. Webb moved for a mistrial and was denied. On appeal, Webb argued that the judge’s warning had biased the witness and deprived Webb of due process. The state appellate court affirmed his conviction on grounds that Webb had not objected to the judge’s admonition until after it was delivered and that Webb had made no showing that the witness had decided against testifying due to intimidation. Webb petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)

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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 (Blackmun, J.)

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