ROCHIN v. CALIFORNIA

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
83
Petitioner 
Rochin
Respondent 
California
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Rochin swallowed drug capsules to dispose of evidence. The police pummeled him and jumped on his stomach in a vain effort to make him throw up. They took him to a hospital where a doctor was instructed by the police officers to administer an emetic by forceably passing a tube into Rochin's stomach. He vomited the capules and was convicted on the basis of the evidence produced from his vomit.

Question 

Did the police procedure forcing Rochin to vomit violate the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment?

Conclusion 

The Court reversed the conviction. The police violated Rochin's right to due process of law. Due process was an admittedly vague concept, but it prohibited "conduct that shocks the conscience." This nebulous approach was mocked in a concurring opinion by Justice Black.

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ROCHIN v. CALIFORNIA. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 04 April 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1950-1959/1951/1951_83>.
ROCHIN v. CALIFORNIA, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1950-1959/1951/1951_83 (last visited April 4, 2014).
"ROCHIN v. CALIFORNIA," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed April 4, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1950-1959/1951/1951_83.