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White v. Woodall

134 S. Ct. 1697, 572 U.S. 415 (2014)

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White v. Woodall

United States Supreme Court

134 S. Ct. 1697, 572 U.S. 415 (2014)

Facts

Robert Woodall (defendant) pled guilty to the murder, rape, and kidnapping of a 16-year-old girl. During the sentencing phase, Woodall declined to testify. The trial court denied Woodall’s motion for a jury instruction that Woodall was not required to testify and that the jury was not to make an adverse inference for his decision to not do so. The Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed. Woodall filed a federal petition for habeas corpus, arguing that the denial violated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The district court granted the petition. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)

Dissent (Breyer, J.)

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