The Escobedo Rule: Pattern for Confessions and Confusion

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government, Escobedo v. Illinois, criminal justice, judiciary, Supreme Court, court procedures


Civil Law | Civil Procedure | Courts | Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Law | Political Science | Supreme Court of the United States


Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan offered one of the goals of American justice when in March of 1965 he said:

As a people Americans want stern application of the law. But our Constitution demands that even the most obvious guilty shall be convicted for his crime only by processes measuring up to the fairness and decency to which our civilized society strives to be true.

The United States Supreme Court has fundamentally shaped the standards of fairness and decency that apply to criminal and civil court proceedings in the United States. It is obvious that the decisions of the Supreme Court have a great impact on our system of government. One of its largest impacts has been in the area of law enforcement procedures. This impact is the result of the Court trying to make police and trial procedures compatible with the Constitution. The 1964 Supreme Court case of Escobedo v. Illinois is a good example of the problems involved in trying to bring the protection of Constitutional rights to state law enforcement procedures. The case of Gitlow v. New York (1925) was the first extension of the Bill of Rights tot he states through interpretation of the "due process" clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Escobedo decision is the most recent extension of the Bill of Rights by the Supreme Court in the area of law enforcement.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Political Science

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