Hugo Black: Dissent in Adamson v. California

(1947)

In the case of Adamson v. California, Admiral Dewey Adamson was charged with first-degree murder but chose not to testify on his own behalf at trial. The prosecutor made the jury aware of that fact and argued that his refusal to testify could be construed as an admission of guilt under California statute. On appeal, Adamson’s attorney contended that his client’s freedom against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment had been violated. In the majority opinion written by Justice Stanley Reed, the Supreme Court found that the rights guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment did not...

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Hugo Black (Library of Congress)

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